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Rask signs 8-year deal with Bruins

Updated: 2013-07-12 07:42
By Associated Press in Boston ( China Daily)

Tuukka Rask turned an outstanding first season as the Boston Bruins' No 1 goalie into a long-term commitment on Wednesday by signing an eight-year contract to stay with the Eastern Conference champion.

There was little doubt that the restricted free agent would be back, especially after the Bruins cleared about $4.75 million in space under the salary cap when they sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars in a seven-player deal last Thursday.

The Bruins said the annual salary cap charge on Rask's contract is $7 million.

Boston lost the Stanley Cup finals in six games to Chicago, dropping the finale 3-2 on June 24 when the Blackhawks came from behind and scored two goals in the last 1:16.

Two days later, general manager Peter Chiarelli said: "I feel confident that we will get a deal done on Rask in short order."

That same day, Rask said he would like to play with the Bruins "forever", and the one-year contract he played under last season motivated him.

Rask was the backup goalie in the 2011 postseason when Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy that goes to the playoff MVP as Boston won its first Stanley Cup title since 1972.

The following season, Thomas played 59 games with a 2.36 goals-against average. Rask made 23 appearances and had a 2.05 average.

The goalie from Finland was drafted in the first round in 2005 by the Toronto Maple Leafs and was traded in June 2006 for goalie Andrew Raycroft.

In other signings, the New York Rangers reached agreements on deals with restricted free agent forward Carl Hagelin and newly-acquired defenseman Justin Falk.

Hagelin, 24, agreed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract. He will earn $2.1 million next season and $2.4 million in 2014-15. He carries a cap hit of $2.25 million.

Falk, also 24, was acquired from Minnesota on June 30, He'll earn $975,000 on his one-year contract.

Meanwhile, the NHL announced the Vancouver Canucks will host the Ottawa Senators in a return of the Heritage Classic next season, adding a sixth date to the league's ambitious schedule of outdoor games.

The site, BC Place, was also the venue used for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, marking the first time the opening of a Winter Games had been staged indoors.

(China Daily 07/12/2013 page23)