Florida confirms Thomas will start season opener

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After days of hints the Florida Panthers made it official on Wednesday, confirming that Tim Thomas would start in goal when they open their campaign in Dallas.

“Tim Thomas will [get the start]. For my first and last goalie announcement of the year, I usually don’t go down that line,” head coach Kevin Dineen told the team website. “But Timmy is going to get opening night and very pleased with the way he has played over the last couple of weeks in practice and in the games that he came in.

“He’s earned that net on opening night.”

Thomas’ last start was on Apr. 25, 2012 — a 2-1 OT loss to Washington in Game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs — meaning it’ll be one years, five months and eight days between games.

Needless to say, he’s excited about getting back in net.

“I’m very happy,” Thomas said. “I’m looking forward to helping get this team off to a good start.”