Yesterday news broke that Tuukka Rask signed an 8 year, $56 million dollar contract – making him the highest paid goaltender in the league. A lot of people went apeshit, saying that the Rask contract was "way too long" and "giving a goalie 8 years is stupid". They may be right, but in the end I'd rather have 8 years of Rask than 0 years of Rask.
Ian McLaren, who will now be writing for The Score (and is a great follow on Twitter) posed this question:
With Tuukka locked up for 8 years, where does that leave young Subban? #Bruins
— Ian Cameron McLaren (@iancmclaren) July 11, 2013
I think it's a legit question, especially with the news that the Bruins are turning Subban pro and bringing up to Providence this year.
In the ideal situation, here's what I think happens…
I think the Rask contract allows Boston to groom Subban. There's no rush to throw him between the pipes in the NHL like – say – Pittsburgh did with Marc-Andre Fleury. I think what we're looking at his a Tim Thomas/Tuukka Rask type of situation.
Subban isn't NHL ready. Shit, he may not even be AHL ready yet. Depending on which goalie (Niklas Svedberg or Chad Johnson) is sent to Providence, that guy will be the starter for the P-Bruins.
In the last year of Rask's contract, Malcolm Subban will be 27 years old. Tuukka Rask was 26 when he took over for Tim Thomas (and if Thomas didn't take the year off for the 3 Fs, he may not even have started this year). A few years overlapping of a Rask/Subban situation isn't a bad thing at all. Realistically – we're about 4 years away from seeing Subban in a Bruins jersey full time.
When the Bruins acquired Rask from the Maple Leafs, he played 2 seasons in Providence before becoming a full-time Bruin. With Svedberg playing insane hockey last season and proving he can handle a full load, I don't think there will be a need to bring Subban up in two years (unless Svedberg goes elsewhere of course). Alex Auld and Manny Fernandez aren't walking through those doors, thankfully.
Subban will be hitting his prime when Rask's production may start to fall off. It's the perfect one/two combo and I think that this deal ensured Subban's development.
What do you think happens with Subban?