While many are curious to see Tim Thomas play in an NHL contest for the first time in over 17 months, it sounds as though they’ll have to wait.
“I won’t be judging Tim Thomas on one look at an exhibition game,” Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen told the Florida Sun-Sentinel on Wednesday. “That certainly won’t be a make or break situation.
“Because of that I’m not going to be in any rush to get him in.”
Thomas, 39, joined the team on Monday and has participated in a pair of practices, reporting no setbacks.
Florida will play a pair of exhibition contests this weekend — a Friday-Saturday back-to-back against the Stars and Lightning — then have nearly a week off before playing the Lightning again next Thursday.
Ergo, it’s safe to assume we won’t see Thomas participating in game action until Sept. 26th at the earliest, barring a major change of heart from the organization over the next 72 hours.
In case you’re curious, Thomas’ last time on NHL ice came during the 2012 playoffs, when his Bruins lost to the Capitals 2-1 in overtime of Game 7 of the opening round.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.