|Peter Chiarelli still doesn’t expect Tim Thomas to play this season||02.07.13 at 7:06 pm ET|
Speaking to the media on a conference call following the trade of Tim Thomas to the Islanders, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday that based on his discussions with agent Bill Zito, he does not expect Thomas to play for the Islanders this season.
“Nothing would suggest to me that he’s coming back this season, no, in my discussions with the agent,” Chiarelli said.
Thomas is in the final year of his deal, and Thursday’s trade would net the Bruins a draft pick in 2014 or 2015 if Thomas plays a game.
“Without getting into specifics, the condition [of the pick] is basically if he plays,” Chiarelli said. “There’s a bunch of different ways how to couch how he plays or where he plays or when he plays, but it’s if he plays.”
Chiarelli said at the open of training camp that Thomas still planned on playing next season, but said that talks with Zito led him to believe he “misstated” that information.
Said Chiarelli: “It’s better stated, coming from Bill, that he’s still contemplating playing next year.”
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|Bruins trade Tim Thomas to Islanders||at 5:35 pm ET|
The Bruins have traded goaltender Tim Thomas to the Islanders in exchange for a conditional second-round pick in 2014 or 2015.
Thomas, 38, is in the final year of his contract but is not playing this season. His contract calls for a $3 million salary but his cap hit is $5 million (Thomas had salaries of $6 million in each of the first two years of the four-year, $20 million deal). Thomas reportedly still does not intend to play this season, as the move was made by the Islanders in order to get over the salary cap floor by Friday and thus be compliant with the salary cap.
The pick sent to the Bruins is conditional on Thomas playing one game for the Islanders, meaning they will not receive it if Thomas sticks to his plan of sitting out the season.
Thomas, a ninth round pick of the Nordiques in 1994, signed with the Bruins prior to the 2002-03 season and eventually established himself as one of the greatest goaltenders in league history. He won the Vezina Trophy in both 2008-09 and 2010-11 and led the B’s to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 as the Conn Smythe winner.
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|Tuukka Rask thinks Tim Thomas got a bad rap||01.15.13 at 12:39 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask tried to call Tim Thomas recently, only to find that the embattled netminder had changed his phone number. That’s not a huge surprise for Thomas, who lost much of the good faith he had built up in Boston as he made his political beliefs increasingly public over the course of last season before eventually deciding to take this year off.
Rask, who is taking over for Thomas as the Bruins’ No. 1 goaltender, finally got to catch up with his former teammate when Milan Lucic got a hold of the Thomas’ new phone number and shared it with teammates interested in getting in touch with him. The two spoke over the last few days in what Rask called more of a “‘hey, how ya doing’ type of thing’ than anything else, but consider that Rask, who shared the Bruins’ net with Thomas over the last three seasons was probably closer to him than anyone else on the Bruins, was just happy to catch up.
“He’s enjoying his life right now with the family and the time off,” Rask said. “I was glad to hear that.”
Thomas is now living in Colorado with his family. The move was planned during last season, but when asked in December about his intentions, Thomas was guarded and said he wasn’t ready to address his plans past the season. Things went south from there when Thomas skipped the team’s visit to the White House and began using his Facebook page to express his thoughts about such topics as the government, birth control and Dan Cathy after the Chick-fil-A president made anti-gay remarks.
The less-candid Thomas caught a ton of flak from the media (present company included) and fans, but as a teammate, he wasn’t any different. Rask and Thomas got along well, and Rask said Tuesday that he felt Thomas may have gotten a bad rap.
“The things you read in the media, I don’t read that stuff because we didn’t talk about political things or anything like that,” Rask said. “We just talk about hockey and stupid stuff like guys usually do. Everybody believes in what they believe in. You’ve got to respect that.
“It’s all about the choices you make,” he added. “Knowing him, he doesn’t really care about what anybody thinks. He stands behind his opinions, and I really respect that. It didn’t affect our relationship at all.”
Thomas was very much his own man. He made it about himself often, but Rask didn’t see the harm in that considering the position they play.
“I think as a goalie, you have to be kind of like that,” he said. “Some guys might take it to an extreme. You’re part of the team, but you’re still an individual. You’re by yourself out there, so you kind of have to have that mentality to be kind of selfish in a certain way to be able to become a successful goalie.”
|Peter Chiarelli: Tim Thomas wants to play next season||01.13.13 at 11:14 am ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli provided a minor update on the status of goaltender Tim Thomas, who is not playing this year despite being under contract for this season.
Thomas, a two-time Vezina winner and the recipient of the 2011 Conn Smythe, is spending the year in Colorado with his family and will be suspended by the team when he does not show up by 10 a.m. on Monday, but Chiarelli said that the 38-year-old has told him that he does intend to play next season.
“Tim’s not going to show up, and he’s told us that he’s not playing for the year and wants to play next year,” Chiarelli said. “As late as last week he’s told me that through his agent, so we’ll end up suspending him and we want to do it in a non-adverserial way. I’ll talk to the agent and we’ll agree to some sort of set of facts and remedies and that will be it.”
With Tuukka Rask taking over as the No. 1 goaltender, it would appear that Thomas’ time with the B’s is done. There had been talk that the B’s could send Thomas, who has one year left on his contract with a $3 million salary and $5 million cap hit, to a team that needs to get to the salary floor. Chiarelli doesn’t see that scenario playing out, but he could still trade Thomas eventually.
“He will be on our cap unless I trade him,” Chiarelli said. “With the floor as it is — $44 million — there’s probably not the opportunity to move him to a team that needs to get to the floor, so it’s a bit of a standstill. He’s on our cap.”
Chiarelli said the Bruins have the ability to require Thomas to give them another year under the same terms of his contract, but that it’s “too early to tell” whether the B’s will do that. It would seem unlikely that they would do that and keep him, as the Bruins’ cap situation for next season (just under $7 million in space without Rask signed) is tight as it is, leaving them no room for Thomas’ $5 million cap hit.
|David Krejci wants Tim Thomas to return to Bruins||09.10.12 at 1:57 pm ET|
BOLTON — The Tim Thomas subject is a rather touchy one when it comes to the Bruins. He told them after the season he’d be taking the year off, leaving them with a potential salary cap burden. Furthermore, his exit paved the way for Tuukka Rask to get his chance as a starting goaltender, so Thomas’ (former?) teammates have often gone on record of respecting his decision to not play this year while pointing out that they are confident in what Rask will do with his opportunity.
Bruins players have danced around the subject of what might happen if Thomas were to return after next season, but when David Krejci brought up the subject Monday at the team’s golf tournament in Bolton, the center made his opinion clear: He wants Thomas back with the Bruins.
Asked what his reaction was when he heard about Thomas’ decision, here’s what Krejci said:
“I was in shock a little bit just like everybody else I guess, but you’ve got to respect his personal life. If he wants to take a year off, then he should do what he feels is right for him and his family. I respect that, but I hope he’s going to come back because he’s, in my opinion, I think he left — I hope he’s going to come back. If not, I think he left too early because he’s still one of the best goalies in the league. It would be bad for everybody, for the league, for the fans, for himself and for us if he wouldn’t [resume] his career. I haven’t talked to him this summer, so I don’t really have much to talk about.”
|Charlie Jacobs: ‘I bet [Bruins] get something’ for Tim Thomas||08.21.12 at 4:59 pm ET|
Bruins principal and alternate governor Charlie Jacobs joined The Big Show Tuesday to support the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund radio telethon. Among the topics discussed was Tim Thomas, and Jacobs admitted that he was “thrown” after the season upon learning that the two-time Vezina-winner would not return next season to play the final year of his contract.
“I was beyond surprised,” Jacobs said. “I am still.”
Thomas has said that he will not play next season, and his future beyond that remains unclear.
“I’m having a hard time wrapping my ahead around that whole line of logic,” Jacobs said. “I respect Timmy and I respect his decision, but at  … I want to say he’ll be 39 by the time he comes back, taking a year off from pro hockey, from the National Hockey League, from the show, I don’t see how it’s possible to come back and play at that level. He may prove us all wrong, but I would be stunned. This is prime earning potential for him. This is not chump change — we’re talking 5 million bucks [Editor's note: He would earn $3 million, though his salary cap hit would be $5 million] — and the possibility of another deal if he does perform well.”
Thomas confirmed via his Facebook account — something he’s used to share some controversial opinions, including why he did not attend the White House this past season — that he would not be playing next year. More recently, he posted on Facebook that he supports the Cathy family, the owners of Chic-fil-A who have been outspoken against gay marriage.
“We certainly don’t share his views or those messages that have been posted on Facebook, in particular with the recent fast-food chain in Boston and his statement about that as well,” Jacobs said of Thomas. “I’m speaking cryptically because I’d prefer to not bring it up and give it merit.
Added Jacobs: “Tim’s always marched to the beat of his own drum. By and large, that’s what made him such a special player, is that you never really knew what he was going to do. I don’t think opposing shooters knew where the hell he was going to go, right? I think that spelled well for a certain amount of time.”
The Bruins could conceivably trade Thomas to another team and be off the hook for his cap hit, as teams that need to reach the cap floor would only have to pay $3 million for a $5 million cap hit. Jacobs said he feels there’s a market.
“Timmy’s going to do what he wants to do, and you know what? I bet we’ll get something for him if he elects not come back and there is in fact a floor for the salary cap this upcoming season, I can see teams trading for that $5 million cap [hit] to bring their team up to the floor. So I think there will be a market for a player, as ironic as it sounds, there will be a market for a player who’s not going to play next year.”
Jacobs said that he and the front office have discussed whether they could have talked him into returning “on many occasions,” but he noted he has not spoken to Thomas since the end of the season.
“More specifically we’ve asked the question,’Has Timmy thought this through?’” Jacobs said. “Apparently he has.”
|Tuukka Rask talks contract status, Tim Thomas||08.02.12 at 4:59 pm ET|
Following are highlights from Tuukka Rask’s session with the media Thursday at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Rask, who took a one-year deal this offseason and will take over as the team’s starting goalie, said he felt “fairly healthy” as the offseason began coming off a hip/abdomen injury and is feeling good now.
On signing a one-year deal [Note: He will be a restricted free agent again next offseason]
“A lot of people I guess were a little surprised by the contract and stuff, but I can’t tell the team that I want a long contract because I’m at an age where I would have had to go to arbitration and stuff like that, so we just figured it’s best for both of us. If I have a good year then maybe I’ll sign a longer deal and if I suck, then kick me out.
On if there was any hesitance to take a one-year deal in case he has a bad season or gets injured:
“You can’t really think of it that way, because you’re kind of digging yourself a hole there, but sometimes you’ve got to think what’s best for the team and what’s best for yourself. I think this is a really good scenario for all of us.”
On if he’ll suck next year:
“I mean, I’m pretty confident. I’ve never really sucked, so hopefully I don’t suck this year either. You go out there and you do your best. Practice hard and work hard and just play on your level. I know my level is not too low in general, so I’ve just got to work hard to maintain that level.”
On if he feels he has something to prove:
“Yes and no. You always think it would be nice to play 82 games and have an awesome year. In that way you want to prove yourself, how good you can be on a daily basis, but I’ve proven myself, that I can play in this league.”
On if he was surprised by Tim Thomas’ decision to take next year off:
“Well I was and I wasn’t. I wasn’t expecting him to do that obviously, but I really appreciate what he’s done and I appreciate his decision to be with his family and take some time off from hockey. It really didn’t shock me that much, but I’m more upset to see him leave because we had a really good connection and friendship going on. I’m sure he’s happy now where he is.”
On if he saw it coming:
“I mean, everybody knew he was a little tired because he played so much the last two years, but it didn’t seem like he was exhausted mentally.”
On if he’s viewing the situation as though Thomas won’t come back to the Bruins:
“Well, I mean, of course. That’s what everybody wants, but if he takes a step back and thinks about his situation and if he comes back, he comes back. I’ll just try to do my job as good as I can.”
On if he’ll miss Thomas as a teammate:
“He was a great guy. We had a great relationship and he was a good guy. It’s going to be a little weird to not see him sitting next to me anymore, but I have to get used to it.”
On what Thomas’ legacy in Boston should be:
“I don’t know. I can’t answer that. To me, I look at it a little differently because he’s a friend of mine, so I don’t really care what he says on the Facebook or whatever because I don’t read that stuff. He’s been good to me, and we’ve been good friends and usually don’t talk about that stuff, what he posts. All I know is he’s been a good teammate to me and a good friend.”
On being the Bruins’ starting goalie:
“All my life, pretty much, it’s been a goal. I played some games my first year here consistently, but the year after was a step back playing-time wise. [I've been] waiting for a few years now, so it’s going to be interesting to see how I handle it. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m always up for a challenge.”
On being in a more traditional situation with a starter and a backup:
“I played a lot down in Providence and back in Finland even, so that’s not going to be anything new. I don’t want to put too much worry on that because you know how coach is with playing time. I’m sure I’m going to get as much a chance as possible, but if I can’t get the job done, there’s going to be more guys coming in.”
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