The Boston Bruins have announced the re-signing of goaltender Tuukka Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract.

Bruins lock up Tuukka Rask to a long-term deal.

Bruins lock up Tuukka Rask to a long-term deal.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be shocked, Bruins fans, as this deal has been rumored on its way for over a week now. Honestly, it’s no surprise Rask will be doubling his annual salary from $3.5 million last season to $7 million per season starting in 2013-14. His performance last season, especially in the playoffs, ensured he’d get a big payday. I know some Bruins fans won’t be pleased by how much he’s getting, but that’s the reality of the marketplace.

If this past season was any indication of Rask’s future performance, he’ll earn every penny and Bruins fans will be praising GM Peter Chiarelli for signing him to this deal, and owner Jeremy Jacobs for allowing Chiarelli to pay that much.

During the regular season, Rask was tied for the league lead in shutouts (5) , was third in save percentage (.929) and tied for fifth overall in goals-against average (2.00).

In the 2013 playoffs, his stellar goaltending was cited among the reasons f or the Bruins march to the Stanley Cup Final. His playoff stats also ranked among the leaders, particularly in save percentage (.940), leading all playoff starters in that category.

At only 26, Rask appears to be entering his prime and should become firmly entrenched as the Bruins starter for years. Rask’s new contract, however, pushes the Bruins over the cap by $1.361 million, though they’re allowed to be above it by up to ten percent during the off-season. They could shed some salary via trade, but can remain over the cap when the season starts by placing concussed forward Marc Savard ($4.007 million cap hit for this season) on LTIR.