Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed goalkeeper Tim Thomas  said he wants to sit out the 2012-13 season, citing familial reasons.
Chiarelli said on Friday that he will have to suspend Thomas if the goalkeeper does not play next year, but Thomas’ cap number will still impact the team.
“As of right now I’m operating under the premise that there’s a strong possibility that he’ll be taking the year off and we’ll have to go about our business without Tim Thomas  for the year,” Chiarelli said.
If Thomas does not come back, Chiarelli said the Bruins would use Tuukka Rask  and Anton Khudobin as the goalkeepers.
Even though Thomas’ exploration into taking a year off coincides closely with the expiration of his no-trade, Chiarelli said he doesn’t think that factored into Thomas’ decision. The Bruins general manager said the reason why Thomas wants a year off is because the goalkeeper cares about his family and wants to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Chiarelli added that Thomas had expressed issues of exhaustion before.
“I remember one of the things that he told me after, the year before, we met, that he was really tired,” Chiarelli said. “And we had exit meetings after we won the cup and he was really tired. And he said to me after these exit meetings he definitely was worn down a bit.”
Thomas isn’t the only player with a questionable future as the Bruins are still involved in various contract negotiations. On Friday team announced the signing of Daniel Paille  and Chris Bourque.
Chiarelli said Bourque, the son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque , has a chance of making Boston’s lineup and playing with skilled players.
“He does have those attributes,” Chiarelli said. “He does have the ability to shoot and find seams, but he also has a great element to his game where if he has to play lower down the line that he can do that.”
While Chiarelli said he could not comment on other contract negotiations, he said the Bruins have decided not to re-sign defenseman Joe Corvo.
Since these contract negotiations are occurring with the CBA set to expire soon, Chiarelli said the Bruins are approaching the situation cautiously.
“You have to have an element of caution to your moves because there is uncertainty after the deal expires,” Chiarelli said. “What the cap will be to this summer really doesn’t play a whole heck of a lot into how we make our decisions.”