It looks like Tim Thomas’ unique and interesting hockey career might not be over.
Although his agent said that everything is status quo with Thomas, it wouldn’t be surprising if he attempted a comeback in 2013-14, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.
That news would likely be particularly interesting to the New York Islanders, who traded for Thomas’ rights despite the fact that he decided not to play this season.
Although Thomas’ contract is set to expire this summer, the Islanders have the right to toll his contract to the 2013-14 campaign. In other words, if the Islanders wanted to keep him under their control, they can do so after he refused to report this season.
That being said, there is apparently a chance that he will sidestep the NHL entirely. Friedman’s sources indicated that Thomas playing in Europe is another possibility. The Michigan-native had success in the Finnish League before he finally established himself in the NHL.
There’s also of course the question of how effective the 39-year-old goaltender will be after taking a year off. If he’s able to shake off the rust and willing to play for the Islanders, he would be a big boost for a franchise that seems to be on the rise.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.