There is a possibility that the Boston Bruins could be without the goaltending services of Tim Thomas next season, as confirmed by general manager Peter Chiarelli in a conference call that was originally meant to discuss the signings of Daniel Paille and Chris Bourque.
This is not yet official, though. Chiarelli said that he’d been approached through Thomas’ agent and told that Thomas was seriously considering taking a gap year. Still, the news is making Chiarelli presume that there won’t be any Thomas next season when he starts looking at putting together the team.
Chiarelli explained that Thomas was thinking first and foremost of his family in this possible decision. I can understand that completely and the fact is that he has to do what he feels is best for him. He’s definitely no stranger to doing that, either, as we all learned back in January.
Yes, he was an integral piece of the Bruins puzzle when it came to winning the Stanley Cup last year, so integral that he got the Conn Smythe Trophy for his efforts. Bruins fans love hearing those three great words: “Save by Thomas!” But times change, people make decisions and things cannot always stay the same as they were in the championship year–even if we would, as fans, sometimes like for it to stay that way.
So, I suppose the initial guess I made that the Thomas-Rask tandem would stay intact, based on Chiarelli’s exit-day declaration that he didn’t want to move a goaltender, could very well be wrong. I would still hedge a bet that new goalie Niklas Svedberg may cut his teeth in Providence first. If the team must make an edit to its tandem, I would put Anton Khudobin in as Tuukka Rask‘s backup. Khudobin impressed in his late-season game against the Ottawa Senators and has a lot of heart.
However, this could all be for naught and Thomas might decide to stay around next year. It really will depend on what his family thinks. But, no matter what happens, I’ll definitely report on it.
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