Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli admitted to being suspicious when Tim Thomas first informed him that he might not return for the 2012-13 campaign.
“The wheels were turning in my head as a lawyer,” Chiarelli said. “But I talked to Tim and he said ‘Pete, I’m just tired. It’s time for me to take the year and I’m seriously considering it.’”
Thomas eventually posted on Facebook that he’s not going to play next season.
Chiarelli thinks that Thomas might still change his mind, but he also recognizes that Thomas might have played in his last game with Boston.
Given his age, if Thomas decides to take a season off, it would be very difficult for him to stage an effective comeback. Besides that, even if he does want to come back, will the Bruins still be a good fit for him? If Tuukka Rask excels in 2012-13 – and it’s certainly not hard to picture him doing just that – would it still make sense for the Bruins to roll the dice on Thomas?
“You’ve got a goalie in Tuukka [Rask], who is ready or close to ready to be a starter. He has to do it over a period of time to cement it, but we’ve seen what he can do . . . he’s close,” said Chiarelli. “Timmy and Tuukka are close. Tim has never said this, but he might just be thinking that it’s Tuukka’s time [to play].”
That’s a nice sentiment, and maybe it’s true. Even if it’s not, Rask has spent the last three seasons serving as Thomas’ understudy. At the age of 25, he seems ready for this opportunity.