Video: Thomas feels ‘almost reborn’ in Florida


Florida Panthers hopeful Tim Thomas met with the media for the first time on Tuesday, conducting a lengthy Q&A with reporters.

Here’s the video:

Some highlights:

— Nobody pressed Thomas on his personal politics, the White House snub or anything relating to Facebook. The closest was someone calling him a “polarizing figure” (though that was partly in relation to Thomas walking away from the game in the manner he did).

— The thought of never playing hockey again crossed his mind. Sorry, the thought of never playing haaaw-key again crossed his mind.

— Someone asked if he was happy Florida wasn’t a big hockey market with lots of media attention, to which Thomas replied he hadn’t really thought about the media much over the last year.

— Among the things he did during his sabbatical: built some townhouses, hunted alligator, made an alligator into a rug, and saw his kids.

— He said it was extremely difficult leaving the Bruins organization, but it was the right thing for himself and his family.

— Is Thomas in Florida to be the starter? “I definitely came here to play hockey,” he replied, which was actually a pretty slick way of dodging the question.

Related: Thomas is a smart gamble for Panthers

Weaver announces retirement after 633 NHL games

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning
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Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.

“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.

“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”

Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings