By the sounds of it, Boston could be in for another year of the Timmy-Tuukka tandem.
That’s the word from Peter Chiarelli, anyway. The Bruins GM spoke with CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty today and addressed the future of his goaltending position, featuring one of the league’s most promising youngsters (Tuukka Rask) and the guy that’s won two of the last three Vezinas (Tim Thomas).
According to Chiarelli, next year could be status quo.
“[I view it] the same way I saw it going into the last summer: the biggest difference being Tuukka obviously didn’t play towards the end because of his injury. There’s no uncertainty there with regards to him being back and healthy,” Chiarelli said. “I know I’ve seen speculation about moving a goalie and all that stuff, but certainly I’m not inclined to do that.
“Tim didn’t have statistically the year he had before, but I thought he had a very good year. We have, if not the best, one of the top three goalie tandems in the league.”
Some things to consider here:
— Thomas has one year left on a deal with an annual cap hit of $5 million. Rask is an impending RFA that made $1.25 million annually on his last contract.
— Thomas’ no-trade rights expire on July 1. Depending on how the market shakes out, he could be one of the most compelling players available (after Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, the free agent class lacks star power).
— There could also be a glut of available goalies. Vancouver seems ready to part with Roberto Luongo, St. Louis could opt to move one of Brian Elliott/Jaroslav Halak, Los Angeles might shop Jonathan Bernier and who knows what direction Calgary goes with Miikka Kiprusoff.
— The X-factor in all of this? How big a distraction the organization feels Thomas is. His White House snub/political agenda ruffled feathers, but a long summer off (and out of the spotlight) could mitigate that.