Former Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas remains stuck in limbo on the free agent market as the start of training camp approaches. Teams are finalizing their squads, but so far Thomas does not appear to be a part of any team’s plans for next season. As the best free agent available on the market, people want to know where he will end up.
The most likely answer that he is not going anywhere anytime soon. Teams have made it clear by their actions, or lack thereof, that they have no desire to bring the former Conn Smythe winner into their folds. The chances of a last-minute signing with a team are slim.
This is the worst-case scenario for Thomas, who could use the training camp to regain his physical form, which has surely diminished after almost a year and a half off ice. The longer the waits, the more likely that he will not be able to decide his retirement on his own; slowly, and of his own fault, he is being forced out of the NHL due to a lack of work.
After training camp, once all the talent at the goalie positions has been evaluated, a team like the Florida Panthers with some questionable goaltending may make a move to bring in Thomas. At the very least, a team like this may see him as a useful backup and mentor to some of the up-and-coming goaltenders in the league.
Clearly, there are no full-time jobs open, so Thomas will have to take a part-time one wherever he can get it. It will not be pretty for him, but he needs to prove that he can earn a starting spot and be trusted by a team willing to take a chance on him.
Tim Nikolouzos is a Boston Bruins writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @timnikolou