Being traded to the Islanders didn’t take Tim Thomas by surprise yesterday, according to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli.
“I spoke with Tim to make him aware of this trade and he understood. He knew that this was the type of thing that I had talked to him about earlier on in the summer and in the fall, that this could happen,” said Chiarelli, per CSNNE.com. “He was comfortable with it and he sounded quite at peace with himself. [It was a] brief conversation, but I just wanted to talk a little bit about Tim because he was an important member of this team.”
Whether Thomas, 38, ever plays another NHL game, we’ll have to wait and see. Apparently his agent told Chiarelli “he’s still contemplating the idea of playing next season.”
The question Bruins fans are asking now is, what will Chiarelli do with the $5 million in cap space that was freed up by the trade? Boston is among the Stanley Cup favorites as the team currently stands. How much better would its chances be with, say, Jarome Iginla?
Said Chiarelli: “We don’t know how many players (will be on the market as the deadline approaches) and when these players will be available. It will give us flexibility immediately and it gave us the ability to hedge on the bonus cushion, which, if they exceed a certain amount, eats into next year’s cap. Next year’s cap is important to us.”
It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.
Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:
Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games
This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.
The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.
John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.
Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.
Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?
For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting upJohn Tavares.
The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.