New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) keeps the puck in front as Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) tries to score in the first period of Game 1 during an NHL hockey second-round playoff series, Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Rask, Krejci exits would shrivel Bruins Cup-winning core

Rask, Krejci exits would shrivel Bruins Cup-winning core

BOSTON (AP) — A year after letting 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara leave, the Bruins face another potential departure that looms almost as large.

Goalie Tuukka Rask, the 2014 Vezina Trophy winner and the Original Six franchise’s career leader in games and wins, is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent. The two sides chose not to discuss a new contract during the season, leaving the negotiations for the summer after a disappointing postseason finish when Rask is recovering from an undisclosed injury.

The Bruins also need to make a decision on forward David Krejci, who like Rask is another one of just four players left over from the 2011 Stanley Cup champions. Midseason addition Taylor Hall is also a free agent.

“It’s the same answer as every year: We’re all getting older, and you’re not going to last forever,” Rask said on Wednesday night after the 6-2 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 of their second-round series ended Boston’s season. “(The window) is definitely closing at some point.”

A 34-year-old Finn who led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 and ’19 — he was a backup on the team that won it all — Rask led the league with a 2.12 goals-against average in the NHL bubble last season before opting out of the playoffs to deal with a family emergency.

Rask was 15-5-2 this year with a 2.28 GAA, but he was bothered by what coach Bruce Cassidy said was a “nagging injury” during the playoffs.

“He was healthy enough to play. He just wasn’t 100%,” Cassidy said Wednesday. “He’s our starting goalie and he told us he was ready to go and that’s that. … There may be surgery going forward. That’s his decision.”

Rask confirmed he might need surgery but declined after the game to elaborate on the injury.

“I don’t want to get into that right now,” he said. “I don’t think that needs to be the headline right now.”

But Rask’s play was the focus, especially when he was pulled from Game 5 after allowing four goals in the first two periods. He was back for Game 6, when the Islanders scored four goals against him (and added two into the empty net).

Cassidy said the goaltending “wasn’t good enough to win, but neither were we.”

“This wasn’t on Tuukka,” the coach said. “Of course he could have been better. We mismanaged some pucks that put him in some bad spots as well. This was a team loss, all the way down the line.”

Krejci was fourth on the team in scoring with 44 points (8 goals, 36 assists) this season — trailing only the “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Like Rask, the 35-year-old center has played his entire career with Boston.

“There’s something to be said about playing for one organization and right now, that’s what it’s looking like for both Tuukka and David,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in May. “I think they both would probably like to finish their careers as a Boston Bruin, so let’s see what happens this offseason.”

A former No. 1 overall pick who came to Boston in mid-April, Hall was acquired from Buffalo to bolster a team that was expected to contend for the Cup. Since losing to St. Louis in Game 7 of the 2019 final, the Bruins have had back-to-back second-round exits.

“We expect a longer run in this room,” Marchand said. “We thought we had a group that could go really deep this year.”

After saying goodbye to their longtime captain last year and facing further defections this summer, it’s not clear how many more chances they will have.

“That core is getting older from one year to the next,” Bergeron said. “It’s disappointing. You have a good team; you have opportunities. And you know they don’t come that often — especially later in your career. You want to make the most of them.”

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press

NHL

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard complains that her mail hasn’t been delivered for over 10 weeks due to water main construction on her West Park block. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Residents of Red Deer street have no mail delivery for 10-plus weeks

Shanna Lydiard says she doesn’t trust the city’s promises

FILE - Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that Albertans could start booking second dose shots of the COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday night. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Public measures will be lifted: Alberta will enter Stage 3 on Canada Day

Alberta will enter Stage 3 of its Open for Summer Plan on… Continue reading

A massive round dance, involving hundreds of people at Bower Ponds, was a highlight of Canada Day celebrations in 2000. (Contributed photo).
Fireworks without a Canada Day celebration is planned for July 1 in Red Deer

Many residents aren’t in a festive mood, with recent Indigenous graves discovery

Students’ Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says the government needs to be transparent about why RDC doesn’t have degrees yet. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Brittany Lausen earns RDC Outstanding Student Award

Student’s Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen has been named… Continue reading

Gabe Cuthand, Brandon McDonald, Dean Johnson and Dakota Dion drumming during a past Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at City Hall Park in Red Deer (Advocate file photo).
Indigenous Peoples Day will be celebrated online on Monday in Red Deer

National Indigenous Peoples Day will be celebrated in Red Deer on Monday… Continue reading

A supporter of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi holds a sign during a rally in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Iran's clerical vetting committee has allowed just seven candidates for the Friday, June 18, ballot, nixing prominent reformists and key allies of President Hassan Rouhani. The presumed front-runner has become Ebrahim Raisi, the country's hard-line judiciary chief who is closely aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iran votes in presidential poll tipped in hard-liner’s favor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranians voted Friday in a presidential… Continue reading

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, left, and President Seiko Hashimoto attend the news conference after receiving a report from a group of infectious disease experts on Friday, June 18, 2021, in Tokyo. The experts including Shigeru Omi, head of a government coronavirus advisory panel, issued a report listing the risks of allowing the spectators and the measurements to prevent the event from triggering a coronavirus spread. (Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool Photo via AP)
Top medical adviser says ‘no fans’ safest for Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — The safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics is… Continue reading

FILE - In this June 12, 2021, file photo, Rajkumar Haryani, 38, who painted his body to create awareness about vaccination against the coronavirus poses for photographs after getting a dose of Covishield vaccine in Ahmedabad, India. Starting June 21, 2021, every Indian adult can get a COVID-19 vaccine dose for free that was purchased by the federal government. The policy reversal announced last week ends a complex system of buying vaccines that worsened inequities in accessing vaccines. India is a key global supplier of vaccines and its missteps have left millions of people waiting unprotected. The policy change is likely to address inequality but questions remain and shortages will continue. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki, File)
How India is changing vaccine plan amid shortages

NEW DELHI (AP) — Starting Monday, every adult in India will be… Continue reading

Chief of Defence staff General Jonathan Vance speaks during a news conference to , in Ottawa Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces says it is making progress in the fight against sexual misconduct in the ranks, but much more work needs to be done. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Freeze promotions until military commanders are screened for misconduct: Committee

OTTAWA — A parliamentary committee has called for a freeze on all… Continue reading

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Hussen says he is looking to municipalities to reshape local rules to more quickly build units through the government's national housing strategy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Cities should redo planning, permitting to align with housing strategy, minister says

OTTAWA — The federal minister in charge of affordable housing says he… Continue reading

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. On June 1, NACI had said AstraZeneca recipients "could" get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but Thursday went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the "preferred" choice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

When Gwenny Farrell booked her second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine… Continue reading

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden, right, is guarded by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Bucks bounce back to defeat Nets 104-89 and force Game 7

MILWAUKEE — Khris Middleton scored 38 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 and… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) brings the puck up the ice against the New York Islanders during the third period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinals, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. Tampa Bay won 2-1.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3

Lightning 2 Islanders 1 (Tampa Bay leads series 2-1) UNIONDALE, N.Y. —… Continue reading

Most Read