It’s looking pretty likely that Tim Thomas will never play another game in a Bruins uniform, and that may be just the way he wants it. The 38-year old goaltender waived his no-trade clause on Friday afternoon, just hours before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft was set to get underway.
Thomas’ contractual no-trade clause was set to expire on July 1st anyways, but the early waive allows Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to explore possible deals involving the goaltender prior to and during the draft. Now, if the opportunity arises, Chiarelli is free to pull the trigger on a deal.
Thomas said that despite the waive, he still plans to sit out next season to spend time on friends, family, and faith. Who knows if that’s true, but to me it’s looking like he just wants to get the hell out of Boston right now. If he gets traded (and he probably will) I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he played next season.
Believe it or not, Thomas still has some value to other teams despite his insistance that he won’t play next season. Chiarelli already acknowledged that several teams have inquired about using Thomas’ $5 million cap hit in order to reach the salary cap floor. Others may take a chance on him because they believe they can convince the goalie to play next season.
The veteran Thomas can obviously still play – he posted a 2.36 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and a 35-19-1 record for the Bruins last season, just one year after winning the Vezina Trophy for best goalie during the regular season. Any team looking to fill a hole between the pipes will likely inquire.
With that being said, I’d be very surprised if Thomas was still a member of the Bruins come the end of this week. Sure, the B’s aren’t going to get as much value in return as they would if Timmy was committed to playing, but if he’s not going to play and you’ve got a young goalie waiting in the wings…why not get something? At the very least, the B’s can dump Thomas’ $5 million off the cap and use it in free agency, possibly to sign…Zach Parise? Boy, wouldn’t that be nice.
And personally, if the Chiarelli and the Bruins do in fact trade Thomas, there will be no hard feelings on my part. If he just doesn’t want to play in Boston anymore, that’s his choice. Say what you want about the guy’s personal life, but I don’t consider it any of my business. On his way out the door, I would shake his hand, sincerely thank him for the immortal memories he gave me last summer, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors…wherever they be.