Tuukka or not Tuukka. That is that question

The Napkin

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Whether 'tis nobler in the net to suffer
The slings and arrows of injury and age,
Or to take arms with a rookie keeper

Feel like this will be a big decision this summer.
 

yeahlunchbox

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Hope that Tuukka was serious when he said that he doesn't want to play anywhere else and that he'll sign a two year deal for 4-5 million per. If he's looking for more than that we probably have too many holes to resign him.
 

lexrageorge

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Bringing Rask back on a reasonable contract as the #2 or #1B to one of the youngsters is fine. Whether we agree with them or not, the front office is going to treat this team as being in a "win now" window, and so they probably don't want to rely on 2 unproven goaltenders to start the season.
 

kenneycb

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Depends on injury and what he wants for a contract. Don’t fully trust Vladar or Swayman as a combo at this point. Otherwise get some Halak-esque backup on the cheap-ish / short-ish.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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I don't think it matters what we think they should do. It's all down to where Sweeney thinks the team is. And since he's a bigger believer in this team than most of us, there's no way he lets Rask walk. The only question is if he'll bid against himself to keep him, since Rask has said he has no interest in playing anywhere else in North America.
 

kenneycb

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Is he? He gave up next to nothing at the deadline to make a stretch run. If he had given up a first and decent prospect (lol) I’d feel differently.
 

steveluck7

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Bringing Rask back on a reasonable contract as the #2 or #1B to one of the youngsters is fine. Whether we agree with them or not, the front office is going to treat this team as being in a "win now" window, and so they probably don't want to rely on 2 unproven goaltenders to start the season.
Might be semantics but if he’s back as a 1b, I worry that we’ll end up right back here next postseason… it’ll be a debate but Cassidy will go with the veteran.
 

Silverdude2167

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Might be semantics but if he’s back as a 1b, I worry that we’ll end up right back here next postseason… it’ll be a debate but Cassidy will go with the veteran.
Tukka was great in the postseason when not hurt, so as long as he doesn't play him next year when hurt (assuming he is the best goalie), I don't see a problem with that.
 

Stanley Steamer

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I would be happy to move on, and use his money elsewhere. Each year, it seems this team is moving further from the ability to challenge for a Cup. It's testimony to the talent and drive of the top line, McAvoy and Cassidy that they keep putting themselves close year after year, but it ain't gonna happen. Money should be spent on building for the future. Rask has been a great player and good servant to the team, but he should stay only on a team-friendly contract.
 

scottyno

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They should sign him to a big 1 year deal, let him get his surgery, then LTIR him and bring him back the day after the regular season ends while loading up the rest of the roster. I've heard that's allowed.
 

tmracht

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They should sign him to a big 1 year deal, let him get his surgery, then LTIR him and bring him back the day after the regular season ends while loading up the rest of the roster. I've heard that's allowed.
Tampa nods in approval. Maybe Rask will even put up 18 points in 11 games after suffering all year.
 

Haunted

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I want him back, if he'll take short(er) money and 2 years. 3 at absolute most. I have high hopes for Swayman but we've all seen enough hot shot rookie flameouts to be cautious.
 

Ale Xander

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Swayman, and either Vladar or a backup from another team if you can sign cheap. Spend the $ on D.

Maybe trade some F prospects for the backup (or D) while Bergy is still skating.
 

RIFan

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This league is littered with young goaltenders who flashed at 20-22 and flamed out. Swayman may be the real deal but there is no way in hell I would hand over the net of a cup contender to a pair of goalies with a total of 15 games played in the NHL. Your goalie depth becomes Kyle Keyser and someone like Max Lagace you can pickup cheap. That seems to be absolute lunacy to me. Unless Rask is looking for $10M, you sign him at close to his current rate or a slight haircut for a couple of years and let Swayman apprentice under him.

If you don't think the team is a potential contender with a few tweaks and other additions, then by all means nickel and dime Rask so he goes somewhere else. You might as well also let Krejci walk and move Bergy and Marchand for a haul because you're really putting their competitive window in jeopardy.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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This league is littered with young goaltenders who flashed at 20-22 and flamed out. Swayman may be the real deal but there is no way in hell I would hand over the net of a cup contender to a pair of goalies with a total of 15 games played in the NHL. Your goalie depth becomes Kyle Keyser and someone like Max Lagace you can pickup cheap. That seems to be absolute lunacy to me. Unless Rask is looking for $10M, you sign him at close to his current rate or a slight haircut for a couple of years and let Swayman apprentice under him.

If you don't think the team is a potential contender with a few tweaks and other additions, then by all means nickel and dime Rask so he goes somewhere else. You might as well also let Krejci walk and move Bergy and Marchand for a haul because you're really putting their competitive window in jeopardy.
Rask started fewer than half the team's games in a shortened season and likely needs some kind of medical intervention this offseason—why should he be paid close to his current deal (top 5 goalie AAV in hockey)?
 

cshea

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This was brought up in another thread, but one thing to keep in mind for next year is Vladar loses his waiver exemption. He would have to pass through waivers to play for Providence. Given his performance, contract and age,, I think it's highly likely would get claimed. Swayman is waiver exempt.

If they bring back Rask or sign another vet they're going to either send Swayman down, risk losing Vladar for nothing, or carry 3 goalies on the active roster all season.
 

The Napkin

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Tukka was great in the postseason when not hurt, so as long as he doesn't play him next year when hurt (assuming he is the best goalie), I don't see a problem with that.
But again he wasn't hurt because they had to baby him all year. Never more than 2 in a row. Extra rest. And even with that he broke down at least once during the regular season. And now again in the playoffs.

playoffs was:

May 15
May 17
May 19
May 21
May 23

May 29
May 31
Jun 3 (extra rest)
Jun 5
Jun 7
Jun 9

I can't remember R1 but thankfully that was over in 5. Trying to remember but I'm pretty sure there were mentioned issues as early as G3 in R2 when it was talked about how nice the extra day off was for him. And it was obvous to anyone with eyes that by 5 latest if not 4 he was struggling hard.

I love Tuukka. 2019 is shame for so many reasons but his legacy is high up there and he'll get railed on for lots and underappreciated for everything. But it's time. He's not a 1 anymore. If he's willing to be a 1B at a reasonable number and they're willing to go with Swayman in the playoffs then I'd think about it. But if he want's 8 x >1 or something like that and wants to be the 1 then I'm not sure there's a spot for him.
 

RIFan

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This was brought up in another thread, but one thing to keep in mind for next year is Vladar loses his waiver exemption. He would have to pass through waivers to play for Providence. Given his performance, contract and age,, I think it's highly likely would get claimed. Swayman is waiver exempt.

If they bring back Rask or sign another vet they're going to either send Swayman down, risk losing Vladar for nothing, or carry 3 goalies on the active roster all season.
I don't think it would be the end of the world for Swayman to spend a full year in the AHL. He only played 19 games plus the 3rd period cameo this year. See how he holds up with a 45-50 game workload. You can also put feelers out on Vladar. Maybe somebody thinks highly of him and will hand over a 3rd or 4th round pick for him. I don't think he projects to be much more than a back up. He might be a guy that can get hot and carry you for a while, but I don't think he's a guy you let your #1 walk out of fear of losing him.
 

kenneycb

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But again he wasn't hurt because they had to baby him all year. Never more than 2 in a row. Extra rest. And even with that he broke down at least once during the regular season. And now again in the playoffs.

playoffs was:

May 15
May 17
May 19
May 21
May 23

May 29
May 31
Jun 3 (extra rest)
Jun 5
Jun 7
Jun 9

I can't remember R1 but thankfully that was over in 5. Trying to remember but I'm pretty sure there were mentioned issues as early as G3 in R2 when it was talked about how nice the extra day off was for him. And it was obvous to anyone with eyes that by 5 latest if not 4 he was struggling hard.

I love Tuukka. 2019 is shame for so many reasons but his legacy is high up there and he'll get railed on for lots and underappreciated for everything. But it's time. He's not a 1 anymore. If he's willing to be a 1B at a reasonable number and they're willing to go with Swayman in the playoffs then I'd think about it. But if he want's 8 x >1 or something like that and wants to be the 1 then I'm not sure there's a spot for him.
I'm not sure they had to baby him. They chose to baby him given they had very good backup goaltending similar to the last couple years. Towards the end of the year they chose to baby him because of his injury. Have is a very presumptuous word.
 

The Napkin

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Which may be even more damning. Even babying him (and yeah, it's a loaded term and I don't mean the connotations but I haven't had coffee yet) he still wore down and got hurt. I'm not sure that's a guy you can rely on to play every other night. Which was pretty obviously the point.
 

kenneycb

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Guys get injured. It's not like this is something that has happened every year. His injury just happened to be a nagging one that can flare up. It's not like he's has a DiPietro-esque groin.
 

The Napkin

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Torn labrum, so bad he could barely walk for a week, surgery within a month, out until at least Jan. But he was just fine out there. Good job Bruce.
 
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TFP

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Torn labrum, so bad he could barely walk for a week, surgery within a month, out until at least Jan. But he was just fine out there. Good job Bruce.
He was indeed fine out there. The not walking wasn't due to the labrum directly and hasn't been an issue.

But you know this.
 

LogansDad

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Yep. No way he should have been playing on that. I'm a big Bruce fan, because the team has been a lot of fun since he took over, but if they can him and give Tuukka playing these last few games as the reason why, I wouldn't even question it.
 

Myt1

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Torn labrum, so bad he could barely walk for a week, surgery within a month, out until at least Jan. But he was just fine out there. Good job Bruce.
Yeah, no one could have possibly anticipated this, though. The fact that he couldn’t practice or walk was in no way a red flag. I think we were all blindsided, and we shouldn’t let hindsight be 20/20.
He was indeed fine out there. The not walking wasn't due to the labrum directly and hasn't been an issue.

But you know this.
He couldn’t move for two games. He got away with cheating on anticipation and guile for probably the two before that. If you don’t play Swayman in that situation, you might as well light the lineup spot on fire. At least that way, you can make s’mores.

Bill Belichick would have started Malcolm Butler in net before Tuukka Rask.
 
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Myt1

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Yep. No way he should have been playing on that. I'm a big Bruce fan, because the team has been a lot of fun since he took over, but if they can him and give Tuukka playing these last few games as the reason why, I wouldn't even question it.
I think it’s unlikely that he made this choice on his own, but I have no real insight
 

wiffleballhero

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Wow. Somebody needs to get shitcanned for this. It was so obvious that Rask was not right. If I could see it, so too could the Islanders.

They were not fooling anyone. They should have simply shielded him by saying he was day-to-day and ready to go if Swayman got injured, but let him sit as soon as they knew he was hobbled.

Talk about lucky though, the Islanders go against Jarry and then a broken Rask.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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They should have simply shielded him by saying he was day-to-day and ready to go if Swayman got injured, but let him sit as soon as they knew he was hobbled.
The problem with that is his month off in the regular season was due to an injury related to his hip, because he was physically compensating for it with muscles that had no business compensating for that kind of work.

The team knew through the playoffs about this, and probably had an idea of what was going on through a huge chunk of the season. I don’t think it changes the outcome, but Swayman should’ve 100% started Game 6 with this knowledge.
 

54thMA

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Torn labrum, so bad he could barely walk for a week, surgery within a month, out until at least Jan. But he was just fine out there. Good job Bruce.
What a horrible decision to start him in game 6, or game 5 for that matter. Had the Bruins by some miracle advanced, how long realistically did Cassidy think he could ride him with an injury that will require surgery and keep him on the shelf until January?

Not sure what decision was worse, Belichick benching a guy when he shouldn't have or Cassidy playing a guy when he shouldn't have.

Playing hurt is one thing, players do it all the time; playing injured is a whole different ballgame.
 

BigMike

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What a horrible decision to start him in game 6, or game 5 for that matter. Had the Bruins by some miracle advanced, how long realistically did Cassidy think he could ride him with an injury that will require surgery and keep him on the shelf until January?

Not sure what decision was worse, Belichick benching a guy when he shouldn't have or Cassidy playing a guy when he shouldn't have.

Playing hurt is one thing, players do it all the time; playing injured is a whole different ballgame.
And sometimes playing injured a player is still better. For example Bergeron at 80% is still a better player than trent Frederick.

But yeah this was silly having a goalie out there who was struggling to skate, and struggling to move side to side is insanity. Goalie is such a fine line, and face it there is a long history of rookie goalies stepping up in postseason and excelling , so going with Swayman shouldn't have been a scary thought.

Anyway for next year I go with Swayman and Vladar and let the chips fall where they may. given Tuukka's injury you are basically looking at best case scenario him coming back to play about 15 games, the only way I resign him is if it is below 2 million for next year
 

54thMA

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And sometimes playing injured a player is still better. For example Bergeron at 80% is still a better player than trent Frederick.

But yeah this was silly having a goalie out there who was struggling to skate, and struggling to move side to side is insanity. Goalie is such a fine line, and face it there is a long history of rookie goalies stepping up in postseason and excelling , so going with Swayman shouldn't have been a scary thought.

Anyway for next year I go with Swayman and Vladar and let the chips fall where they may. given Tuukka's injury you are basically looking at best case scenario him coming back to play about 15 games, the only way I resign him is if it is below 2 million for next year
Agreed 100% with your entire post.

In some instances someone who's at 80% is still better than other player at 100%, but for a goalie, who depends on moving side to side, it's a fools errand to stick him in there. The Bruins have gotten burnt by some rookie goalie standing on his head in the playoffs, maybe by flipping the script, they would have had similar luck.

We'll never know.
 

RetractableRoof

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He was indeed fine out there. The not walking wasn't due to the labrum directly and hasn't been an issue.

But you know this.
I don't think this is a fair statement. According to Tuukka, the torn labrum caused him to shift alter things to try to compensate/stabilize. As a result he ended up with back issues, due to the increased strain/workload - a direct correlation to the torn labrum. To suggest that his inability to walk was not related to the labrum "directly" seems um... inaccurate.

Am I missing a subtlety of your post? Or knowledge of another injury or ???
 

radsoxfan

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For what it's worth, I have never read a hip MRI for a hockey goalie (pro or amateur) that did not have a torn labrum. It's all about the degree of tearing, and even more importantly, the amount of associated cartilage loss and bone bruising.

I'm sure Rask's hip was hurt, and I'm sure his labrum is torn, but it's often a more complicated multi-factorial issue.

Perhaps Rask should not have played, but I wouldn't automatically assume that just because he was playing with a torn labrum.
 

Myt1

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For what it's worth, I have never read a hip MRI for a hockey goalie (pro or amateur) that did not have a torn labrum. It's all about the degree of tearing, and even more importantly, the amount of associated cartilage loss and bone bruising.

I'm sure Rask's hip was hurt, and I'm sure his labrum is torn, but it's often a more complicated multi-factorial issue.

Perhaps Rask should not have played, but I wouldn't automatically assume that just because he was playing with a torn labrum.
That makes sense and is helpful background. But no one is doing that, right?

Tuukka’s inability to move was eye apparent. His play suffered because of it. His playing style changed to compensate for it. He barely practiced before Game 5 because of it. He was pulled in Game 5 at least partly because of it. Long before his diagnosis was made public, people were pointing that out and some were suggesting that he shouldn’t play Game 6 because of it. His status for Game 6 was in doubt because of it. His practice the morning of Game 6 was limited because of it. His mobility and play in Game 6 suffered because of it, to the extent that some of his biggest fans in RMPS were begging for him to get yanked because of it.

After Game 6, he was revealed not just to have a hip labrum tear, but a tear so bad that he needs surgery. A tear so bad that it caused him to miss substantial time this season (which had the second lowest save percentage of his career) with compensation injuries.

I think people are mostly concentrating on all the stuff in my long paragraph, and using the stuff in my short paragraph to point out that none of this was a surprise to the Bruins when they made the Game 6 lineup decision. If Tuukka were not noticeably hobbled and hadn’t gotten yanked because of the injury, I doubt anyone would care about the mere existence of an injury not severe enough to hamper his play.

To the extent that “with a hip labrum tear,” is being used unmodified and without further explanation (and it is, you’re right to point that out), I think it’s just a shorthand.
 
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Myt1

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And, sorry; we’re talking about this issue in multiple threads. I’m amalgamating the conversation.
 

radsoxfan

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That makes sense and is helpful background. But no one is doing that, right?

Tuukka’s inability to move was eye apparent. His play suffered because of it. His playing style changed to compensate for it. He barely practiced before Game 5 because of it. He was pulled in Game 5 at least partly because of it. Long before his diagnosis was made public, people were pointing that out and some were suggesting that he shouldn’t play Game 6 because of it. His status for Game 6 was in doubt because of it. His practice the morning of Game 6 was limited because of it. His mobility and play in Game 6 suffered because of it, to the extent that some of his biggest fans in RMPS were begging for him to get yanked because of it.

After Game 6, he was revealed not just to have a hip labrum tear, but a tear so bad that he needs surgery. A tear so bad that it caused him to miss substantial time this season (which had the second lowest save percentage of his career) with compensation injuries.

I think people are mostly concentrating on all the stuff in my long paragraph, and using the stuff in my second paragraph to point out that none of this was a surprise to the Bruins when they made the Game 6 lineup decision.

To the extent that “with a hip labrum tear,” is being used I modified and without further explanation, I think it’s just a shorthand.
I don't disagree at all, I'm more of a Celtics than Bruins guy and didn't watch much hockey aside from the playoffs. Certainly seems like Rask's hip was a problem this year and perhaps he shouldn't have been out there at the end.

Just pointing out labrum tears are so incredibly common. Very common in the general population, even more common in hockey players, and even more common in goalies. So knowing he has a labral tear on it's own shouldn't be cause for much concern or a reason for poor play. Of course there are degrees and other associated issues than can be a real problem and maybe were for Rask.

But it's not like the guy was playing with a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles, that's all.

Edit: Also brings back memories of IT's hip when some people seem shocked he was allowed to keep playing on a torn labrum and that the Celtics medical staff mismanaged his "injury". IT had impingement and his labrum had probably been torn for 10 years, it just was progressively getting worse.
 
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Myt1

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I don't disagree at all, I'm more of a Celtics than Bruins guy and didn't watch much hockey aside from the playoffs. Certainly seems like Rask's hip was a problem this year and perhaps he shouldn't have been out there at the end.

Just pointing out labrum tears are so incredibly common. Very common in the general population, even more common in hockey player, and even more common on goalies. So knowing he has a labral tear on it's own shouldn't be cause for much concern or a reason for poor play. Of course there are degrees and other associate issues than can be a real problem and maybe were for Rask.

But it's not like the guy was paying with a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles, that's all.
Definitely. And sorry, I was editing after I posted to try to make myself clearer that I was trying to talk about the phrasing wrinkle I was inferring from people’s posts.

Your contribution and insight are very useful, and it’s an example of one of the reasons why this board is so great.
 

RedOctober3829

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In Game 6, think we can all agree that with Rask or Swayman that the play in front of them was so bad that the goalie would’ve made a marginal difference at best.

As far as next year,it’s a real tough call. If they want Rask back, no vet goalie worth anything is going to sign here. Is Swayman ready? I’m not sure he is. What I would do is sign a vet and tell him the net is his with Vladar backing up and let Swayman play every day in the AHL and continue to develop. I’m not about to ruin him by rushing him.
 

Myt1

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In Game 6, think we can all agree that with Rask or Swayman that the play in front of them was so bad that the goalie would’ve made a marginal difference at best.
Why? Goalies stand on their head and pitch shutouts against insane pressure. It happens. It’s not the sort of thing that you can bank on, but when you know that your defense is going to be shit due to depth issues, it’s even more important to put your team in the best position to win by giving them somebody who can at least possibly perform at that level physically.

None of this is a personal attack against Rask. It’s not his fault that he had a hip labrum tear so bad that compensation injuries put him on the shelf and aborted one comeback this season.

I don’t understand the dueling, “He was perfectly fine,” and “It couldn’t have possibly made a difference,” excuses. The former just doesn’t remotely approach reality as evidenced by everything that happened and was said on the day of Game 5 and after, and the latter smacks of grasping at anything to excuse what happened.
 

RedOctober3829

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Why? Goalies stand on their head and pitch shutouts against insane pressure. It happens. It’s not the sort of thing that you can bank on, but when you know that your defense is going to be shit due to depth issues, it’s even more important to put your team in the best position to win by giving them somebody who can at least possibly perform at that level physically.

None of this is a personal attack against Rask. It’s not his fault that he had a hip labrum tear so bad that compensation injuries put him on the shelf and aborted one comeback this season.

I don’t understand the dueling, “He was perfectly fine,” and “It couldn’t have possibly made a difference,” excuses. The former just doesn’t remotely approach reality as evidenced by everything that happened and was said on the day of Game 5 and after, and the latter smacks of grasping at anything to excuse what happened.
I totally get what you’re saying. I just Cassidy was comfortable going with Rask at that point win or lose. Judging by Marchand’s comments about appreciating how Rask gutted it out, his teammates were too. If I’m in Cassidy’s shoes and the medical staff says Rask can play, how can I go in the locker room and say I’m going with Swayman? It’s a very tough decision because you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you do go with Swayman and they lose in the same fashion, the questions now are why didn’t you go with the more experienced Rask and hope he regains his form? For Rask, it’s why did you duck out again?

Of course it’s also fair to ask why didn’t the defense step up it’s game knowing the goalie may be compromised? So many unforced turnovers and giveaways. That’s why I don’t think playing Swayman would have meant the game would have been much closer. Could he have stood on his head? The odds are very low that he’d have played to the level he would’ve had to be at to steal that game.
 

Myt1

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I completely get the locker room aspect of it. I think I mentioned it in a previous post, but I buy that, especially from such an old locker room, many of whom have played with Tuukka for years. That’s a very real factor that would have made the decision harder. But it’s Cassidy’s job to make that hard decision. I think he blinked.

Returning to the broader point, a .922 save percentage gets you to overtime in Game 6. That’s really good, but it’s far from otherworldly (I think Swayman was something obscene, like .945 in his small regular season sample). It’s worth remembering that the Bruins had over 40 shots for the fourth time in the series, too. If Swayman could have given them a performance like either goalie had in Game 3, they’d have been right in the game.
 

burstnbloom

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In Game 6, think we can all agree that with Rask or Swayman that the play in front of them was so bad that the goalie would’ve made a marginal difference at best.

As far as next year,it’s a real tough call. If they want Rask back, no vet goalie worth anything is going to sign here. Is Swayman ready? I’m not sure he is. What I would do is sign a vet and tell him the net is his with Vladar backing up and let Swayman play every day in the AHL and continue to develop. I’m not about to ruin him by rushing him.
To the bolded, there aren't really any vet goalies worth anything on the UFA market. Grubauer, Ulmark and Rask are the best players out there and I'd be absolutely shocked if the Bruins signed the former 2 for premium prices. The UFA goalie market is guys like Mrazek, Mike Smith, James Reimer, Freddie Anderson and Dave Rittich. No one that is going to command big money and many of them are young enough that they may consider a 1 year deal at short money to try to claim the net in front of a strong defensive team and hit the market in better economic times one year closer to a fluid cap.

I'm convinced that is their plan. Sign one of those guys and Rask to short money, pair the vet with Swayman and see what happens.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
50,282
deep inside Guido territory
I completely get the locker room aspect of it. I think I mentioned it in a previous post, but I buy that, especially from such an old locker room, many of whom have played with Tuukka for years. That’s a very real factor that would have made the decision harder. But it’s Cassidy’s job to make that hard decision. I think he blinked.

Returning to the broader point, a .922 save percentage gets you to overtime in Game 6. That’s really good, but it’s far from otherworldly (I think Swayman was something obscene, like .945 in his small regular season sample). It’s worth remembering that the Bruins had over 40 shots for the fourth time in the series, too. If Swayman could have given them a performance like either goalie had in Game 3, they’d have been right in the game.
Swayman also hadn't played in a game in about a month either. To expect him to step on the ice into a high level game like that and perform to that level is a tough ask.