Several Ex-Bruins Heading to Florida Panthers


March 14, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; New York Islanders center

Brad Boyes

(24) is congratulated by left wing

Matt Martin

(17) and teammates after he scored against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Tampa Times Forum. The Islanders won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Two former Boston Bruins might be heading to Sunrise, Florida. Brad Boyes (Right Wing) and Tim Thomas are possibly heading to the  Florida Panthers on Professional Try-out Contracts (PTOs).

Brad Boyes was confirmed as heading to Florida on a PTO by Pierre LeBrun on September 10th via Twitter

Brad Boyes was originally drafted 24th overall in 2000 by the Toronto Maple Leafs and was traded to San Jose during the 2002-03 season for Owen Nolan. Boyes would spend one season (two halves of a season between 2002 and 2004) with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL before being traded to the Boston Bruins in a three-way deal that saw Andy Delmore and Boyes come to Boston for Jeff Jillson who was traded to Buffalo at the exact moment Boyes was. (Fun Fact!: Boyes was the second player in one year to be traded to the Bruins in a three-way deal that had ties to San Jose! The other was Jeff Hackett who was traded from Montreal to San Jose to Boston in the 2002-03 season!) Boyes made his debut with the Boston Bruins during the 2005-06 season scoring 26 goals and 69 points. Boyes would only stay a Bruin for 62 games the following season before being traded to the St. Louis Blues for Dennis Wideman. Boyes had a career year in St. Louis in the 2007-08 season scoring 43 goals and 65 points. He would 5 seasons in St Louis before going to Buffalo for the 2010-11 season and 2011-12 season and last year signed a 1 year contract with the New York Islanders.

Boyes would not return to the Islanders at free agency and has been sitting for nearly 2 months and now has been signed to the Florida Panthers via a PTO to possibly add some stronger Top 6 scoring on the team (especially to help out Jonathan Huberdeau). Boyes would be a great addition to the Panthers Top-6 and his 35 points in 48 games this year shows he’s still got some scoring skill that is well needed for the Panthers and with Kris Versteeg getting injured consistently, it will be a huge help.

Now on to Tim Thomas..

We all know what happened to Tim Thomas; a man who was destine to be a legend here in Boston destroyed his own reputation with off the wall political comments when it wasn’t needed, creating distractions in the locker room, and getting chased out of town on a rebound shot from Mike Knuble and Joel Ward. Thomas announced he would not be playing this season (2012-13) long before it was announced the season would be locked out. Thomas is looking to make a return and the news broke earlier today. It was announced that “several” teams were interested in the veteran goal tender and according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Florida Panthers very well may have “pounced” on the opportunity.

Thomas hasn’t played hockey since April 2012. He is nearly 40 and wants to jump back into a competitive league like the NHL in possibly a starting role. It’s a recipe for disaster. Veteran goaltenders usually never pan out, the rare exception being Jose Theodore in Florida and Ed Belfour in Toronto. Thomas will more than likely be cut from a team before the start of the season if he is signed to a PTO. His age and missed year are huge contributing factors to the possibility he will not get an NHL start. Will Thomas appear in the AHL? Probably. There is a pretty good chance he does. It all depends on what he and his agent want to do, and I honestly don’t think he is going to make it to the 2013-14 season.