In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Boston Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask offers an update on his health after surgery. Meanwhile, Valtteri Filppula has left the Detroit Red Wings organization and signed in Switzerland. The Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to fill a hole on their blue line and the St. Louis Blues are still actively trying to trade Vladimir Tarasenko. Finally, did GM Kyle Dubas put his job on the line with his recent comments?
Rask Says Ready to Go by Christmas
Veteran netminder Tuukka Rask was on @TheGregHillShow and offered an update on his NHL playing status this week. When asked how he was doing and if he’d be back this season, he noted, “I’d be ready to go probably around Christmastime, January.” In regards to having any current contract talks with the Bruins, he said he wasn’t. “Not right now. We had good talks with Sweens, and I think we’re on the same page. So, we’ll see how my rehab goes and hopefully sign a contract.”
As it stands now, the Bruins will move forward with Linus Ullmark and hope that Jeremy Swayman can have another strong year before having to go out and acquire another goaltender. The Bruins signed Ullmark — a former Buffalo Sabres goaltender — to a four-year, $20 million deal.
Rask’s plan is to return to the Bruins. He said during an interview WEEI 93.7, “I have no reason to chase the money anymore and go somewhere else. It’s going to be one of those things where the Bruins are my home, Boston is my home. I’ve always wanted to play here, wanted to stay here.” He added, “So the money won’t be an issue. We had a conversation with [Bruins GM Don Sweeney] and I will be a cheap goalie for them.”
Filppula Signs in Switzerland
Filppula will be leaving the Red Wings and the NHL and heading overseas, having signed a deal with Geneve-Servette HC of the Swiss National League. He’ll become the team’s fourth import player and this could be it for the 37-year-old when it comes to his NHL career.
Filppula played 1,056 regular season games and another 166 NHL playoff contests. He reached the Stanley Cup Finals three times, and won the league’s biggest prize in 2008. If this is it, he’ll finish with 197 goals and 530 points. He spent most of his time in Detroit, but made quick stops in Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and with the New York Islanders.
Penguins Still Unsure How They’ll Replace Ceci
In what sounds like good news for Edmonton Oilers fans, but not-so great news for Penguins fans, Pittsburgh is apparently still trying to figure out how they’re going to replace the minutes offered by Cody Ceci last season. Gretz of Pensburgh.com writes: “Ceci played really well. He not only played really well, he exceeded any and all expectations anybody could have possibly had for him.” He adds, “The problem is that his departure still leaves an opening on the Penguins defense that they have to fill. Who is best suited to take that spot?”
Internally, the article mentions Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman as options, while also saying there are a couple of wild card choices in Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Jusso Riikolla. There is speculation is the team might be looking outside the organization for help, but they write, “The remaining free agent market is obviously thin and full of players that may not be an upgrade over Ruhwedel and would almost certainly cost more money.”
Blues Plan Still to Find New Home for Tarasenko
According to Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com, the Blues are still actively trying to find a trade partner to move Tarasenko. He requested a trade through his agent May 25, but nothing has materialized, which could result in Tarasenko playing in St. Louis this season.
Benjamin notes that both sides still would prefer a move and the Blues are trying to find a way to ship out the 29-year-old who has two seasons left on a $7.5 million deal, but has some injury issues teams are concerned about.
Response to Matthews’ Comments About Maple Leafs Confidence
I pointed out a couple of days ago Auston Matthews’ comments about the belief GM Kyle Dubas has in his team and the group he’s assembled. The feeling is that this core can get over the hump even though they’ve showed an inability to do so thus far. The responses in the comments section seem to suggest a good of fans aren’t buying what the Maple Leafs are selling.
One of the comments (from nor) read:
Dubas loves his job as Leafs GM and it’s a bit of an overstatement that he’d ” bet everything” that this roster will win the Stanley Cup. In a sense he has as it appears another year of a playoff melt down or a miss completely to make the playoffs quite likely will end his tender as GM. Perhaps he feels his comments will motivate and translate to confidence in his players.
So I have to ask… do you think a failed season by the Maple Leafs will result in Dubas losing his job this season? Has he actually put it all on the line by making such comments, sticking with players who haven’t gotten it done in crunch time, and electing not to make drastic changes to the roster this summer?
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”