To hear GM Dale Tallon explain it, the Florida Panthers have zero plans of moving Tim Thomas.
“No,” Tallon said, when asked by ESPN’s Craig Custance. “No. But if he came to me and wanted to move, that’s a different story.
“I have no intention of moving him.”
Thomas, 39, has been a steadying presence for the Panthers this season, going 14-14-3 with a .912 save percentage and 2.65 GAA. But with Florida heading into tonight’s action eight points back of a playoff spot, Thomas — a pending UFA with a modest ($2.5 million) cap hit — could be the ideal pickup for a team looking to solidify its backup netminding for the playoffs.
Thomas said he’s “done some thinking” about the situation — he has a no-movement clause and essentially controls his own fate — but said he’s yet to discuss the situation with the team.
The next six games could really put the picture into focus. After what should be an emotional game for Thomas in Boston tonight, the Panthers play Toronto twice along with Columbus, Detroit and Carolina — the latter three all sitting within eight points in the standings.
Related: Video: Thomas reflective ahead of game against Boston
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”