The reports of Tim Thomas considering sitting out next year took me WAY off guard when I initially heard the news on the radio last night. What’s even more fascinating is that GM Peter Chiarelli went on record today to state that he is approaching the season as Thomas will be sitting out ’12-’13.
Ummm.. am I missing something here?
I’m utterly confused as to why Thomas, the under-looked and career journeyman who was finally given his NHL shot by the Bruins after the lockout, is now holding the Bruins hostage here. As a sports fan, I’m a fan of the team first, not the player. With that said, anytime I hear of a player holding out for a new deal, I look at it as a bitch move. Honor your contract, it’s that simple. If you’re a Bruins fan and you’re reading this, you’ve got to realize the severity of this situation involving the 38 year-old Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe winner.
Anyone who follows the Bruins should know that the Bruins have probably been shopping around Thomas with Tuukka Rask waiting to take over, very similar to the situation that the Red Sox are facing with their Kevin Youkilis/Will Middlebrooks controversy. Cam Neely already said in February that Rask is “a future star, number-one goaltender.” Thomas has also fallen out of favor with some fans with the White House incident (not getting into it) and some of the soft goals he let in during the Bruins 1st-round lost to the Capitals last month, which I may add, which is probably the last time we’ll see Thomas in the Bruins crease.
Now my next questions are what are the goalie’s motives and what can we actually get for him? Apparently money isn’t the issue, because Chiarelli said that a contract extension was not the issue, and it was his family that was his number one concern. Money should be the issue for the Bruins because regardless of whether Thomas sits out or not, he still accounts for a $5 million cap hit.
Maybe I’m underestimating Chiarelli’s second belief for why Thomas may sit out next season: fatigue. If you remember, Thomas did play in 82 games in ’10-’11, between the regular season and Cup run, followed by another 66 games this season/playoffs due in part to Rask going down late in the year. Thats a lot of mileage for someone at Timmy’s age, but you never heard Martin Brodeur ever saying he needed to take a year off.
The general manager in me believes that you better get rid of that dead money and ship him out for whatever compensation you can get in return. I’ll take my chances with the 25 year-old Rask, backed up by Anton Khudobin who has performed consistently well in the AHL. Thomas may not perform on the same world-class level as he did two seasons ago, but he is still extremely talented and can carry a team through the season and into the playoffs.
I would just ship him off to a Western Conference team for a 2nd round pick and avoid him in the playoffs. Use some TT’s $5 mil and sign Zach Parise. Done and done.