Tim Thomas Eyeing Potential NHL Return

Published On June 3, 2013 | By Justin McGrail

Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is reportedly exploring the possibility of playing in the NHL next season.

Thomas’ last appearance was a first-round playoff exit in 2012. Heading into the 2012-2013, he told the Bruins that he wanted to sit the season out so he could spend more time with his family. The team went with a younger goalie, Tuukka Rask, and subsequently traded Thomas to the New York Islanders in February to free up some salary cap space.

The Islanders have the option to keep Thomas on their roster if they choose to toll his contract over to 2013-14. If not, here are a few NHL destinations for Thomas.

Colorado Avalanche: Current netminder Semyon Varlamov posted a GAA (goals against average) of 3.02 in 33 games started this season. The Avs have the number one overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft and Colorado has a history of helping former Bruins stars (see Bourque, Ray). With a need for a better goalie and the possibility to re-arm the team’s skating talent with that No. 1 pick, Colorado could be a great place for Thomas.

Calgary Flames: Mikka Kiprusoff  posted only eight wins in 24 games, so from a solely statistical standpoint, the Flames would like to upgrade at goalie. The Flames traded their only offensive star, Jarome Iginla, this season and Thomas will likely not want to go to a team that’s in rebuilding mode. Thomas is old for an NHLer (39 years old), and even if he does return next season, he likely won’t be around for long.

Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning have the offensive stars in Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis that would make them a good team for Thomas. Tampa had a down year, finishing second to last in the Eastern Conference, but can easily turn it around with a good goaltender in net.

Thomas could also opt to play in Europe, where he had success in Finland during the 2004-05 lockout before he caught on with the Bruins.

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