Byron Dafoe was one of the best Bruins goalies of the past 20-plus years.
He finished eighth in the Vezina Trophy voting in 1998 and third in 1999.
He left the Bruins to play the last two seasons of his NHL career with the Atlanta Thrashers and then retired at 33 years old. His experience playing goal in Boston and calling it a career in his mid-30s made him the perfect guest to join The Skate Podcast and talk about the remarks Tuukka Rask recently made in the Boston Globe about possibly retiring when his contract expires in 2021.
Rask, who has suffered a few concussions the past several seasons, and also battled a lower-body injury a couple seasons ago, would be 34 when the 2020-21 season concludes.
“You got to look at your quality of life,” Dafoe told co-hosts Ken Laird and Matt Kalman. “I mean Tuukka’s a third of the way there, so he’s got to look at what’s coming down the pipe and I can totally sympathize that if he’s looking that way, it’s unfortunate, but you just don’t know with concussions. I think there’s such an unknown about it and the only thing you’re kind of seeing is more and more negativity about long-term effects. So as a goaltender, playing in Boston, yeah everyone wants him to stay and for obvious reasons, he’s had an incredible career in Boston. It would be great if he keeps playing.
“But from a selfish standpoint from him, he’s got to look at his family and what’s right for him.”
Dafoe, calling in from Kelowna, British Columbia, also talked some more about his career, his eight knee surgeries and reflected on what it was like when Ray Bourque was traded out of Boston. He also talked about whether he thought Don Sweeney would someday be a general manager and who was the better No. 34: Dafoe or Lyndon Byers?
Laird and Kalman also talked about the potential of Rask retiring and the effect that would have on the Bruins’ goaltending situation. The Jacobs family’s bad publicity for how their treating employees during the Coronavirus shutdown was also a topic late in the show.