Report: Thomas likely to sign once Panthers sale is final

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It’s possible that two landmark moments might happen for the Florida Panthers in the same week, if not day or two, as TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Tim Thomas is expected to sign with the team once the franchise sale is complete.

Word circulated on Tuesday that the ownership change might be announced on Friday, yet Dreger states that it’s possible that the 39-year-old might make his preseason debut on Thursday.

To put it mildly, his work should be fascinating to watch in 2013-14.

Certainly, there are big reasons to believe things won’t go well. He no longer plays in Boston, which means no more Zdeno Chara cleaning things up; as offensively gifted as Brian Campbell is, Florida doesn’t employ a defenseman in Chara’s zip code. Just as importantly, the unorthodox goalie missed a full season of NHL action, so it wouldn’t be shocking if he’s rusty.

Still, it would be foolish to assume that Thomas can’t overcome long odds. He’s done so just about his entire career.

Not many award-winning goalies get their first real shots at NHL reps in their early 30’s, yet Thomas has two Vezina Trophies, one Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe to his name.

Even his “bad” years have been pretty good, aside from a mediocre 2006-07 season (.905 save percentage, 30-29-4 record).

This Panthers team isn’t going to scare many people on paper, but Thomas ranks among the handful of goalies who might be able to make them pesky again.