If a player manages to make it to the NHL level, it’s likely that person isn’t a quitter. Even the most talented athlete must roll with some punches at the game’s lower levels to make it to the pros, whether it be junior/college hockey, the minors, international leagues or a combination of those three.
Even in a field full of resilient athletes, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas stands out as a true battler. You can see it in the way he occasionally flops around to make a big save and the way he bounced back from an off-year in 2009-10 to return to elite status during this season and the playoffs.
Maybe his return to form shouldn’t be so surprising considering the bumpy road Thomas traveled to the NHL. Take a look at his curious path through various leagues once he graduated from the University of Vermont. (Games played for each team listed in parenthesis.)
HIFK (Helsingin IFK) (6 games) – Finnish league
Houston Aeros (1 game)
Hamilton Bulldogs (15)
Detroit Vipers (36)
AIK (Allmänna Idrottsklubben Ishockeyförening) (43) – Swedish league
Kärpät (32) – Finnish league
Providence Bruins (35)
Boston Bruins (4)
Providence Bruins (43)
Jokerit (54) – Finnish league
Providence Bruins (26)
Boston Bruins (38)
06-07 – current
Boston Bruins (277)
So, as you can see, Thomas is quite comfortable with adversity. The video below focuses on how he bounced back in 2010-11 after a tough 09-10 campaign.