When the Bruins play the Florida Panthers tomorrow they will be facing multiple players who have played on the Bruins before and players who are from the Boston area.
Panthers defenseman Matt Gilroy played his college hockey for the Boston University Terriers. He played there for four years from 2005-2009, where he was a great offensive defenseman. Gilroy has bounced around a lot since then going from the New York Rangers to the Tampa Bay Lightning, then to the Ottawa Senators and then back to the Rangers last season before coming to Florida this season.
Gilroy has played three games for the Panthers this season and he has scored one goal with a -1 plus/minus rating.
Left wing Kris Versteeg was originally drafted by the Bruins in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He was selected in the fifth round with the 134th overall selection. Versteeg played a couple of seasons for the Providence Bruins before he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. In seven games this season with the Panthers he has one goal and two assists with a -4 rating.
Defenseman Ryan Whitney was born and grown up in Scituate, MA. He attended Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA, where he played his high school hockey. He then played his college hockey for the Boston University Terriers for three seasons from 2001-2004. Through four games this season Whitney has zero points and a -5 rating.
Brad Boyes was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Boston Bruins in 2004, but he did not make his Bruins debut until 2005. Boyes was a great offensive threat for the Bruins for one and a half seasons. On February 27, 2007 the Bruins traded Boyes to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman. Boyes has four goals and two assists with a -2 rating in seven games so far this season.
And lastly there is goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas played for the Bruins from 2005-2012. He won two Vezina trophies and he won the Conn Smythe trophy when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011. Thomas was a Boston sports legend until the White House incident and when he left the team last season. He decided to come out of hiding this season and he ended up signing with the Panthers.
Thomas has only played in three games this season because of injury, so it is no sure thing that he will play tomorrow. He has a 5.05 goals against average and a .850 save percentage with one win in those three games. The Panthers have already said Thomas will not talk to the media until after tomorrow’s game. It will be interesting to see how Thomas plays against his former team tomorrow if he plays.
With all these players on Florida it will make sure all the fans in Boston tune in to watch the game. Many Boston fans have waited a long time to see Tim Thomas play again and tomorrow they might have the opportunity to see him play.