The Bruins have until 5 pm today to decide which players they want to protect from the NHL expansion draft. Players who are in their first or second year are exempt from the expansion draft and players who have a no-trade clause are automatically on the protected list, With that being said, Tuukka Rask is someone the Bruins will need to choose to protect. Should they?
In my opinion, I don't think Rask should be on the protected list. While it would be very easy to put him on the list since each team is allowed to protect a goaltender, I don't think they should. As I've written in the past, Rask is getting paid way to much money. This is a chance for the Bruins to part ways with his albatross of a contract. Rask is due $7.5 million next season, $7 million 2018-2019, $6.5 million 2019-2020 and $6.5 million 2020-2021. As the money goes down, the opportunity to trade him will get less as he has an 8 team no trade clause in 2017-2018 and a 15 team no trade clause 2018-2020.
While there is no guarantee that not protecting Rask means that his name will be announced Wednesday night when the Golden Knights reveal their expansion picks, it does at least allow the Bruins the opportunity to escape from cap jail.
If Rask was selected by Las Vegas, that would open the door for Zane McIntyre. McIntyre played 3 seasons at North Dakota before finally suiting up for the Providence Bruins. Two of his highlights for this season were being selected as an AHL All-Star and saving 50 of 51 shots during a game 5 playoff game against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. If you don't know much about Zane, I suggest a little internet searching and you'll be in this kid's corner.
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Eric Kilby