The Boston Bruins have come to terms with Jaroslav Halak of Bratislava, Slovakia on a one-year contract extension according to Rogers Sportsnet on Friday. Halak is set to make $2.25 million in 2020-21, and will actually be taking a slight pay cut as he made $2.75 million in 2019-20.
Halak, who is the Bruins’ backup goaltender behind Tuukka Rask of Savonlinna, Finland, has played in 31 games for the Bruins in 2019-20 and has a record of 18 wins, six regulation losses and six losses in extra time. Halak also has a goals against average of 2.39, save percentage of .919 and three shutouts.
Halak’s first shutout in 2019-20 came in his first game of the season. He made 35 saves in a 1-0 Bruins win over the Arizona Coyotes on October 5. Halak also made 24 saves in a 3-0 Bruins win over the Carolina Hurricanes on December 3, and 26 saves in a 3-0 Bruins win over the Buffalo Sabres on December 27.
One could make the argument that Halak is one of the finest backup goaltenders in the NHL. He should provide the Bruins with very dependable goaltending just in case Rask gets hurt over the next year.
Due to the fact we are living in a time of the worst pandemic in a century, National Hockey League teams are moving toward making sure that they have two dependable goaltenders they can go to on a regular basis in their organization. Last month, the Columbus Blue Jackets signed both of their goaltenders (Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo) to contract extensions.
The Bruins headed into the coronavirus pause as the best team in the NHL. With a record of 44 wins, 14 regulation losses, and 12 losses in extra time, they have 100 points. As the only team in the NHL that has reached the century mark in points, Boston currently leads the second-place St. Louis Blues by six points.
Ironically, it was the Bruins and Blues who were in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. Also, Halak played four seasons with the Blues from 2010 to 2014.