With Tim Thomas’ no-trade clause set to expire on July 1, rumors about the Boston Bruins moving the great (but aging) netminder keep building. (It doesn’t help when news surfaces that Thomas moved his family to Colorado.) Another rather strange possibility surfaced via Pierre LeBrun during a rumor-packed “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, though: Thomas might even consider sitting out the 2012-13 season entirely.
It’s hard to imagine such a scenario, especially since a) he’s not getting any younger at 38, b) it’s a contract year and c) he fought so hard to become an NHL regular – not to mention elite – in the first place.
That being said, LeBrun is correct in calling this past season a tumultuous one for Thomas. The unorthodox goalie has had a strange way of following up Vezina-winning campaigns with shaky encores; he was usurped by Tuukka Rask in 2009-10 and then dealt with the White House controversy this season.
Thomas would get a break from a tough year and some might point out that it would be a way of “sticking it” to the Bruins in the process. Even if he doesn’t play next season, his $5 million cap hit would take a chunk out of Boston’s budget because he has a 35+ contract (barring CBA changes, naturally). They wouldn’t actually be forced to pay Thomas that money, yet the Bruins wouldn’t be able to bolster their lineup with it either.
Again, this is far from confirmed, but it would add another huge wrinkle to a staggering falling-out between a Vezina, Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup-winning goalie and his team just a year after a dazzling peak.