Tim Thomas tried to fall of the radar last season, and may have succeeded beyond his desires. The 2011 Vezina, and Conn Smythe winner (not to mention the Bruins’ first Stanley Cup in thirty nine years) had informed the Bruins he wouldn’t be playing in the 2012-2013 season. The Bruins suspended him, and then later traded his contract to the New York Islanders. It looked as if Tim Thomas was done in the NHL as a goaltender.
Thomas in the last few weeks has attempted to get back into the NHL. While his personal reputation still leaves a little to be desired (He’s a man whose politics is right of standard who used to play in a town whose politics are left of Frank Zappa.), his professional reputation was sterling (up to that point where he decided not to show up for the 2013 season). He’s been sniffing around the league with the help of his agent, Markus Lehto. Thomas is looking to be a number one goaltender again, and that looks like an unreasonable request (at the moment).
However, a full season will lead to injuries. Some teams are already suffering under the stress of injured goaltenders. The Florida Panthers seem to be the first team in the league to have trouble with keeping their crease police healthy. The Panthers may be the team that offers Tim Thomas a new home.
Panthers’ general manager Dale Tallon said last week that he was looking for a veteran goaltender. “There will be a lot of transactions during this training camp,” Tallon told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We’re looking at every possibility, the waiver wire, trades, free agents, whatever we can do to improve.” Initially, the Panthers were looking to avoid taking on a higher priced free agent like Thomas or Ilya Bryzgalov. The injuries on Florida’s goaltenders are accumulating, and their front office may look to acquire a noted player in order to raise their profile.
In their need for a goaltender, the Florida Panthers offered Thomas a try-out for their squad. The Panthers are twenty seasons into their existence, and they’re offering season tickets at seven dollars per game. (Try getting a beer at that price at the TD Garden.) A player like Tim Thomas would bring in fans. Some to see what ‘Train wreck Timmy’ will do/say next. Other fans will want to see what a Stanley Cup winning goaltender looks like (in their uniform). The most loyal of the Panthers fans will see a chance for the Panthers to make a go of it during the 2013-14 season.
While I’m not a fan of the antics of the hockey player, the hockey player made me a fan of the Bruins organization. Tim Thomas made me a hockey fan, and I personally would like to see his career in the NHL end with him in a uniform.