All signs point to Tim Thomas extending his NHL comeback beyond this season — the question now is, where?
Sounds like Florida, the team that gave him his comeback shot, is in the mix.
“I’m certainly willing to entertain the idea,” Thomas said about returning to the Panthers next season, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I haven’t talked to the club about that.”
Thomas, 39, should be a pretty interesting figure over the next few weeks. His name will likely pop up as the Mar. 5 trade deadline draws near — a pending UFA, Thomas could be a nice pickup for any team looking to solidify its goaltending depth for the playoffs.
While Panthers GM Dale Tallon has no intention of trading his No. 1 goalie, he did admit it would be “a different story” if Thomas asked for a trade.
And that’s where things could get interesting.
Thomas is admittedly disappointed with Florida’s on-ice results this season. He acknowledged it’s a young team going through some growing pains, and he might not be willing to stick around for the learning process.
“I was hoping by this time to be seeing more team success,” he explained. That’s been a little bit difficult. Having said that, it’s a process. I knew coming into it where the team was last year.
“I bought into this process, and what we’re trying to do is turn it around.”
Thomas carries a $2.5 million cap hit with a no-movement clause, so he can essentially decide his fate for this season.
According to reports, Tim Thomas won’t face a disciplinary hearing for his high-stick on Boston’s Carl Soderberg in Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss, nor will Buffalo’s Mike Weber for an elbow on Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty passes along news of the Thomas decision, which came shortly after the former B’s goalie knocked Soderberg in the head in the waning moments of a blowout loss:
Thomas was given a two-minute minor for the infraction.
As for Weber — who also evaded a hearing, according to the Washington Post — he came under fire after catching Backstrom with a high hit late in regulation of Washington’s 5-4 OT win:
Weber wasn’t penalized on the play, but Backstrom addressed the hit following the game.
“I was going for a change, that’s the only thing I know,” he said, per The Post. “You saw the hit yourself, make your own judgment if it belongs in this league or not.”
Tim Thomas drew a two-minute penalty for hi-sticking Carl Soderberg in the waning moments of the Boston Bruins’ 6-2 win against the Florida Panthers.
Judge for yourself if that outburst warrants supplemental discipline:
Here’s an admittedly blurry screen cap of the incident:
Thomas, 39, might be known for his political comments and jokes, yet he can also be pretty nasty to opposing players who get in his way. Even so, he hasn’t been suspended for such fiery actions; his only suspension came for choosing not to play for the Bruins in 2012-13.
We’ll see if that changes after this run-in, though.