It is no secret that Don Sweeney is okay with making some significant changes to the Bruins roster this offseason. After yet another unsuccessful run at the cup, it’s clear the clock is ticking for this Boston core. Many names have surfaced in rumors on Twitter, and I’m sure even more are being worked on beyond that. One name discussed in the rumors that shocked the league was Vezina finalist Tuukka Rask. For the larger portion of his career, Tuukka has been one of the league’s best goalies, if not the best. However, he doesn’t have a ring to show for it. If Don doesn’t think he can bring this team a Cup, there’s no reason he should stay.
Although some fans may disagree with the presumption, we have to begin to think about a Bruins team without Tuukka. What does the goaltending situation look like? The FA market this offseason is saturated with plenty of great talent to replace Rask if need be, but who would fit the best? I’ll share with you my top three options if Rask is to leave this offseason.
If the Bruins are moving on from Rask, it’s because they don’t think he can win a cup. It would make sense, then, for them to search for one who can. Braden Holtby led the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup in 2018 and is still an elite goaltender today. Ilya Samsonov outbattled him for the starting spot in the playoffs this year, and he’s sadly parted ways with the team. It is no secret he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season, and if he’s willing to take a bit of a pay cut, I think Braden would fit the Boston culture significantly. Signing Holtby also helps the team alleviate some salary cap stress, giving them more flexibility to build a championship-caliber roster.
After putting on another outstanding performance this season for Vancouver, Markstrom might be ready to face the lights and go for a Cup run. He’s been locked down in Vancouver for the better half of his career, and he deserves a chance with a stronger team. With their star in Brock Boeser potentially on his way out, it seems like the Canucks have a lot of questions they have to answer. This is not to say that the Bruins don’t, but with the answers, they do have, it makes a lot of sense for Jacob to test his skill here. Plus, Boston loves a European goalie ;).
With the recent news breaking of the extension for G Tristan Jarry, it is all but evident that Matt Murray will not be playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins next season. Carrying a mere $3.75 million cap hit, he would give Boston a lot of consistency in net for just over half the price they pay for Rask. In his five years in the league, he’s never had a GAA over 2.92, and just barely finished below.900 SV% for the first time in his career this season. With the uncertainty of his future this year, I’m sure Murray will play even better in a scenario which he is more comfortable in, and I think he would look great in a Spoked B.