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Tim Thomas gets a new teammate in Roberto Luongo and immediately ‘pumps his tires’

Posted By Mike Petraglia On March 4, 2014 @ 11:59 pm In General | No Comments

Tim Thomas [1] couldn’t resist.

The opportunity to make a joke about the goaltender who was the butt of all Boston jokes in 2011 fell right in his lap when Roberto Luongo [2] was traded from Vancouver to Florida on Tuesday, hours before the Wednesday 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

“I did have one good line that probably somebody else has already thought of: It looked like [Panthers GM] Dale [Tallon] went kicking some tires and found one that needed pumping,” Thomas laughed.

Thomas, of course, was referring to an infamous comment Luongo made during the 2011 Stanley Cup [3] finals.

Asked about how Thomas was carrying the Bruins on his back during the Bruins’ Cup run, Luongo famously said, “€œI’€™ve been pumping his tires ever since the series started and I haven’€™t heard one nice thing he had to say about me.”

Thomas replied, “I didn’€™t realize it was my job to pump his tires.”

Now, the two goalies are teammates thanks to a surprising deal in which the Panthers acquired Luongo in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks [4] Tuesday afternoon. That wasn’t the only storyline of the trade as Luongo returns to the organization where he played from 2000-06.

For the record, Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he intends on keeping both goalies in Florida and rebuilding the franchise around them.

“€œIt’€™ll be interesting, but you know what, I don’€™t know how things are going to work out, but assuming I’€™m staying in Florida, it’€™ll be interesting,”€ Thomas said. “I’€™m looking forward to it. It’€™ll be fun.”

Thomas insisted there are no hard feelings with Luongo.

“€œNo, not at all,” Thomas said. “I wasn’€™t an enemy with him even [in 2011]. I was so focused on playing and doing my job and that’€™s the way I was looking at it. So, yeah, we’€™re both pros, both been in the league a long time. I have a few more years on him, obviously, but we both have a lot of experience to bring to the team.

“€œSurprised, obviously, at first just like probably a lot of people who were caught off guard and didn’€™t see that one coming,” Thomas said. “€œBut then I had to get ready to play the game against obviously a difficult team.”

Thomas, on a one-year deal with the Panthers, said he can get along with Luongo.

“€œYeah, of course,”€ Thomas said. “€œHe’€™s a good goalie and from everything I’€™ve heard about him he’€™s got good character. I don’€™t know what their plans are. I don’€™t really know anything at this point. I can’€™t say too much.”

While Tallon did say he plans on keeping both, that didn’t stop speculation that Florida would eventually trade Thomas before the deadline to a contender. Thomas was asked if he would like to be traded to a contender now that Luongo is in Florida.

“€œYeah, but now I’€™ve got to see the situation and see what they’€™re thinking. I’€™d like to check in with Dale before I comment on anything,” Thomas said.

What does Claude Julien [5] think of all of this from afar?

“€œWe’ll see if that’s still the case [Wednesday},”€ Julien said with a wide grin. “Maybe I can comment on it [Wednesday] after the deadline. Fair enough? I know it’s a lot of tire pumping.”


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URLs in this post:

[1] Tim Thomas: http://audio.weei.com/hockey/tim-thomas.htm

[2] Roberto Luongo: http://audio.weei.com/hockey/roberto-luongo.htm

[3] Stanley Cup: http://audio.weei.com/hockey/stanley-cup.htm

[4] Vancouver Canucks: http://audio.weei.com/hockey/vancouver-canucks.htm

[5] Claude Julien: http://audio.weei.com/hockey/claude-julien.htm

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