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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Chiarelli confident on Rask contract

By Joe McDonald
ESPNBoston.com

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday that he is confident the team and restricted free agent goalie Tuukka Rask will agree on a long-term contract by Friday.

"I feel confident that we'll get a deal done on Rask in short order," Chiarelli said during a conference call.

If the sides don't have a deal by the opening of the free-agent period on Friday, Chiarelli has a place-holding number set for the goalie's contract that he can work around in regard to cap planning, he said. Other teams could make Rask an offer sheet that the Bruins would have to match in order to retain his services.

Still, Chiarelli thinks it will get done before Friday.

"I would think before, but if it's after I'm fine with it, too," Chiarelli said. "I know he would enter free agency, but I'm confident regardless, either or."

Rask, 26, proved to be a No. 1 goalie this season and could be asking for up to $8.5 million per year for a seven- or eight-year contract. No goalie is currently making more than an average of $7 million per season.

Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin, who is a restricted free agent, is expected to go to market.

"I'd prefer to keep that private for now," Chiarelli said. "I've had discussions with his agent, and the discussions were contingent on where we're going to end up on a couple of guys. My guess is he'll probably go to market. Anton has said he wants to stay here, but I'm keeping a close eye on it and in constant contact, hoping he can come back. But my guess is he'll go to market, but we can still sign him if he goes to market, it's just a little riskier."