Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is respected and slightly feared for his trades. Chiarelli seems to have a preternatural ability to spot something he wants, and is willing to give up something he has for it. While he has had his Joe Corvo and Benoit Pouillot moments, the Ryan Kessel trade which has borne us both Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton from the Toronto Maple Leafs has more than made up for it. Chiarelli has worked hard for the Bruins to bring the best possible talent to Boston or doing the best he can for the team within the bounds of the salary cap. Peter Chiarelli has done it again.
He did it by trading Tim Thomas.
Yes, Tim Thomas was wacky (or unhinged), flawed (or bigoted), and a little cantankerous for most people to tolerate at times. His opt out to the White House marked the beginning of the end of his career in Boston, and his adamant stance to sit out this season put the proverbial nail in the coffin.
The politics of hockey. Thomas informed Chiarelli of his decision, leaving the Bruins’ GM little recourse but to suspend # 30. “If he wasn’t playing I would have to suspend him.” said Chiarelli. “His cap number would still be on the cap. We would have relief through Savard being on the cap, so it would almost be a wash that way, and that’s the way we would proceed through the year. We’re not seriously cramped from the cap perspective. As I’ve said, we’ve got Marc Savard on LTI and he’s at $4 million, and Tim’s at $5 million, so do the math and we’re maybe a million short. So we’re not seriously disabled there. It’s something that I’ll approach delicately with Tim.”
The New York Islanders gave up a provisional second round draft pick in either 2014 or 2015 for Tim Thomas. This allows the Islanders to make the cap floor. The Bruins get the five million dollar monkey that was Thomas’ salary off their back. We get another draft pick, very likely a high end one in the second round, and Chiarelli once again shows off his talent as a trade genius. I am a practical, rational man. I understand the mechanics and why this works out so well for both clubs. I understand everything that this means and how this really benefits the team I love.
So why am I on the verge of tears? I love Tim Thomas the HOCKEY player. I tend to disagree with a lot of Tim Thomas the hockey PLAYER says. Would I have a beer with the man and talk politics? That would be very unlikely. Would I buy this man a case of beer and tearfully thank him for June 15, 2011? Damn skippy. I got to watch him live, and in action four times in 2011 and 2012. He never lost when I was there, and the stuff he was doing in the crease….inspiring, if not spectacular. He is the guy that went out there along with Mark Recchi and showed us all that Champions had no age limit.
You were a little bonkers for a lot of us Tim, but by God you’ll be missed.