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Neely quells Thomas trade talk


Bruins president Cam Neely is “very happy” with his team’s goalies, and that includes the target of intense trade speculation, Tim Thomas.

“We have two strong goalies in both Tim and Tuukka [Rask],” Neely told CSNNE.com. “I think a lot of teams are probably envious of what we have here.  It’s an area where we feel pretty comfortable.”

There are plenty of justifications for trading Thomas:

—- He’s 38 years old.

—- Rask, 25, had a .929 save percentage in 23 appearances this season, better numbers than Thomas (.920). At some point, the torch will have to be passed.

—- The B’s wouldn’t be giving Thomas away for free and there are always areas a team can improve.

—- That whole White House thing.

On the other hand, the Bruins don’t have another Vezina- and Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie kicking around.

Neely defended Thomas’ performance this season.

“I don’t think any of us expected him to have the same numbers as he did last year,” Neely said. “That was a world-class year. It would be really hard to expect him to have the same numbers. With the White House thing, I know some people would like to hang their hat on that. But knowing Timmy’s personality, I don’t think it affected him all that much.”

Thomas has a year left on his contract with a $5 million cap hit. According to CapGeek.com, his no-trade clause expires July 1.

Whether the Bruins trade Thomas likely depends on what they can get back.

Toronto and Chicago are a couple of teams that could be interested. The Leafs and Blackhawks remain committed to James Reimer and Corey Crawford, respectively, but both goalies could use a veteran to take the pressure off while they develop.

Another Leafs-Bruins trade would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.