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New Details Put New Spin on Rask’s Opt-Out

Earlier this week, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask suddenly decided to opt-out the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the move didn’t sit well with a lot of fans.  At first, it seemed he decided to leave because of the “feel” of the NHL without fans, but the real reason came out later.

He explained the reason for his sudden opt-out on his team during the NHL postseason after many people within the league were shocked over the decision.  However, with his explanation, it all makes perfect sense.

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Rask Forced To Opt-Out For Medical Emergency

In the beginning, it was unclear what has happened that made Rask take such radical decision.  Later, Boston radio station WEEI clarified what led Rask to opt-out of the season so abruptly. Rask let WEEI’s Greg Hill know that a serious health issue affecting his daughter pushed him to abandon the bubble and stay away for an indefinite time.

Hill explained yesterday, “(Rask) is concerned right now with not being a further distraction for his team, which is in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  He would prefer not to be the story and be something those guys are asked about repeatedly as they try to win a Stanley Cup.”

Rask knows that the spotlight is on him for having opted out suddenly during the playoffs; however, he expects that everybody keeps focused on the team, on the league, on winning and not on him.  Rask doesn’t want to become a distraction for his team. A family issue is affecting his life and professional career now, and he preferred staying with his daughter as any parent would.

Justifiable Circumstances

Hill added, “I can tell you that he got a phone call in the bubble from his wife, because there was a medical emergency with their daughter.  Basically the kind of situation where I believe Tuukka Rask did what every parent would do and was obviously very concerned.” No wonder Rask was deeply worried, and he decided to opt-out the way he did.

To further justify Rask’s decision, Hill stated, “It was suggested they seek medical help.  Without revealing what that was, because I think I probably should leave that to him — he did tell me — as a father of two kids, I would be panicked and alarmed upon hearing that about a young kid.” Even Hill supports what Rask did. The situation with Rask’s daughter may have turned life-threatening, Rask didn’t specify what the condition was, but most likely it’s a serious thing.  Hill admits he would have felt panicked as well.

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Wishing Rask’s Daughter Well

“Again, without necessarily revealing what he would not want me to reveal, he did speak to his daughter,” adds Hill, “and his daughter did express something to him about where he was and what her situation was, which I think would lead any father, any parent, especially one who feels like that’s their most important job, parenting, to want to rush to be with their family at that time.” When a medical condition becomes risky, any parent would leave his or her job and find the quickest way to be with the child, even though this puts the job in danger.

Hill concluded, “Personally, I can’t imagine being away from your family, away from your young kids, hearing your daughter say what she said, and not being panicked.” Hill shows as very understandable about this situation, and the NHL should have the same position.

It’s still uncertain if Rask will try to reenter the bubble. Since he is going to be away for some time, there could be risks of COVID-19.  His team took a 4-1 series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday in the opening round of the postseason.  Rask’s return to the league totally depends on her daughter’s health condition, as well as his own.

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Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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