Bruins "Very Close" on Extending Bergeron, Re-Signing Rask
BostonBruins.com - Patrice Bergeron is currently under contract with the Bruins until the 2013-14 season. As of Friday at noon, Tuukka Rask is a restricted free agent, having signed a one-year deal prior to the 2012-13 season, in which he would assume (and prove himself to be more than capable of) the No. 1 goaltending role.
"We’re very close on both Tuukka and Bergy," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli divulged Saturday during a conference call with media (for the Jarome Iginla signing), of the new contracts for the pair of Bruins.
It's been well-documented on this site, how Bergeron and Rask both want to spend their careers here; they've made it well-known.
The 27-year-old Bergeron has been a Bruin for a decade, drafted 45th overall by Boston in the ever-acclaimed 2003 NHL Draft. He's only known Black & Gold - and doesn't wish it any other way.
With the possible contract extension on the horizon, the center said during his season-ending media availability that he was "very confident" that he and Boston would be able to work something out. He just wasn't sure exactly how long it was going to take.
"It would mean a lot," said Bergeron, of signing a long-term extension. "That's the goal since the beginning. It's a team that believed in me when I was 18 and when I was coming up and now, like I said before, it’s my home."
"I love the city, love the people and definitely the organization and my teammates."
Tuukka Rask, 26 years old, was drafted by Toronto (21st overall) in 2005. A year later, as Rask was finishing up his junior season in Finland, he was traded to the Bruins (in exchange for Andrew Raycroft). He joined Providence in 2007-08 and has made his way up the Bruins' ladder. For his professional career, like Bergeron, the netminder is homegrown and wants to remain that way.
Rask voiced his thoughts to media on a long-term deal with Boston before the Bruins parted ways for the offseason.
"That would be an ideal situation, I think, to play here forever," Rask had expressed. "I hope we can make that happen."
The feelings are mutual.
"I feel confident that we will get a deal done on Rask in short order," Chiarelli said prior to free agency opening on July 5, when the goalie officially became a restricted free agent.
The Bruins' GM already had a number placeholder for Rask in mind, though, when assessing the club's cap situation. So he's just as confident in re-signing No. 40 now, as he was before free agency.
"I'm confident, regardless," Chiarelli had said.