Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Boston Bruins No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask was the latest addition to the growing list of NHL players heading overseas amid the lockout, agreeing to play with HC Plzen of the Czech Republic.
An NHL source said Rask has agreed to join HC Plzen after he was given the right to terminate the deal once team owners and players have reached a new collective bargaining agreement.
Rask was given the starting position after goalie Tim Thomas decided to take a year off from hockey. The 25-year-old played in 23 games last season, finishing the year with an 11-8-3 record, .929 save percentage and 2.05 goals-against average.
Three months ago, he agreed to a one-year contract with the Bruins worth $3.5 million and is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season.
Rask joins a number of NHL players who have agreed to play in the Czech Republic, including teammate Andrew Ference, Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, Dallas’ Jaromir Jagr and fellow goalies Ondrej Pavelec and Michal Neuvirth.
Earlier, Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg announced that he will join his younger brother Yanick in playing for Addler Mannheim of the German League while forward Rich Peverley will head to Finland to play for JYPin.
Other Bruins who opted to play overseas during the lockout were forward Tyler Seguin (Switzerland) and goalie Anton Khudobin (Russia). Forward David Krejci is also reportedly close to a deal to play in Russia.
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is still undecided whether to play overseas or just wait for the lockout to be lifted while defenseman Shawn Thornton is planning to join a foreign team during the labor impasse.