Islanders won’t toll Thomas’ contract, will be a free agent Friday

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With the announcement yesterday that Tim Thomas would be looking for a place to play when free agency opens on Friday, some wondered whether or not the Islanders would let him go.

Since he stayed away for the full season, even after being dealt to Long Island, the team could’ve decided to toll his contract and keep him an Islander this season. Both Arthur Staple of Newsday and Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos confirm the team will do no such thing and let him go to market.

If this sounds like a familiar situation for the GM Garth Snow and the Isles, it is.

When they acquired Evgeni Nabokov off re-entry waivers two seasons ago, he too refused to report and the team tolled his contract locking him into playing there the following season. It turned out to be a mutually beneficial arrangement as Nabokov wound up signing another deal with the team and led them to the playoffs this season.