The Boston Bruins on Wednesday signed goalie Tuukka Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract extension, making official what had been expected since the end of the season.
During the lockout-shortened 2013 season, Rask had a 19-10-5 record with a goals-against average of 2.00, a .929 save percentage and five shutouts as he helped the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Rask's deal, with a $7 million per season salary cap hit, equals the contract the Nashville Predators gave goalie Pekka Rinne prior to last season.
The climb to the top has been a rocky adventure for Rask. The Bruins acquired him in 2006 from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Andrew Raycroft.
For years, he was seen as the Bruins' goaltender of the future. The future arrived this past season but in between there was plenty of time spent on the bench backing up Tim Thomas.
Thomas, who led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 2011, took this past season off, giving Rask an opportunity to capitalize on more playing time.
Rask, who was a restricted free agent after signing a one-year deal before this past season, did exactly that. He was solid during the regular season, but in the playoffs, he took his game to another level.
During the 2013 postseason, he led the NHL in save percentage (.940), tied for first in shutouts (three) and finished fourth in GAA (1.88) in 22 games. Rask set a club record for home playoff shutout streak at 193:16, spanning from Game 4 of the conference final to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Rask had arbitration rights as well, where he could have possibly signed a more lucrative contract than the one he signed on Wednesday.
In 138 NHL games, all of which have come with the Bruins, Rask has compiled a 66-45-16 record with 16 shutouts, a .927 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average. He has appeared in 35 postseason games for the Bruins, amassing a 21-14 record.