(Photo: Wikipedia)


Bolton, Mass. — Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask may be without a contract for the upcoming NHL season, but the 25-year-old from Finland said Tuesday that he was content to let the process play out.
“It’s still early, so nothing’s holding [a new contract] up,” Rask told us as he made the turn during a golf outing with teammates David Krejci and Daniel Paille amid the apple orchards at The International Golf Club & Resort, some 40 miles outside Boston. “Just negotiating, that’s all.”
Rask, who tees it up a few times a week during the off-season, offered his offhand remarks two days before the bombshell that Bruins’ front-line net-minder, Tim Thomas, was considering sitting out the upcoming season hit the airwaves. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Globe that Thomas was tired and wanted to spend more time with his family, a situation that has to have Rask’s stock on the rise.
Rask will become a restricted free agent on July 1, and with Thomas on the sidelines, his negotiating position can only improve. As of earlier this week, though, he sounded content to let his agent Bill Zito work out the details.
As for Thomas’ apparent desire to take a break from the rigors of his sport, he may want to consider a couple of PGA Tour golfers whose recent sabbaticals have had adverse impacts on their games. Reigning U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy, who has played sporadically between globe-trotting sojourns with his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, missed his third consecutive cut Friday when he checked out of this week’s Memorial Tournament. The world’s No. 2 finished with a 6-over 150 that included a 7-over 79 in his second round.
In the meantime, 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson showed some serious rust in his return from a month’s vacation as he, too, put up gaudy numbers (75, 74) at Jack Nicklaus’ event. On his way home after the second round, Watson cited post-Masters fatigue and the desire to hang around with his wife and new son as the reasons for his mid-season vacation.
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer