Tim Thomas: Boston Bruins Will Be Fine If Goalie Takes Year Off
A season ago, the Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup Finals thanks in large part to the play of goalie Tim Thomas, who is considering taking a year sabbatical for the entirety of the 2012-13 season.
In a conference call with Steve Harris of the Boston Herald, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli commented on the report first broken by ESPN:
Tim came to me toward the beginning or middle of May and told me he's seriously considering taking the year off. The reason why, I'm not exactly sure. He did give some reasons regarding his family. When you hear someone say, "Seriously considering," he's probably going to do it.
The general manager added that he's currently planning on the fact that his team will be without Thomas heading into next season.
If the starting goalie does decide to go through with the sabbatical, the Bruins will still take a cap hit of $5 million, the third-highest hit on the team behind Zdeno Chara and David Krejci. Harris said on the conference call that he will suspend Thomas if he chooses to go down that road.
According to Harris, there is currently no timetable for Thomas to make his decision on whether he'll be with the Bruins or take a year off. It appears that Boston finds themselves in a Green Bay Packers/Brett Favre situation.
That being said, the Bs have their own Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings anyways.
While it's always a good thing to have two stellar goalies on the roster, Tuukka Rask has been pegged as the team's goalie of the future for a few years now. Heck, he'd be the starter if it weren't for Thomas' historic rise back to relevancy.
Rask has has a .926 save percentage on his career and 11 shutouts to his name. His record in net is above .500, with 47 wins over his five seasons in the NHL.
Back in the 2010-11 season, Rask won 22 games and lost just 11, posting easily his best season in the league—and you know he's got a fire under him to prove himself if Thomas takes the year off.
The fact that Chiarelli is proceeding as if Thomas won't be part of the team is the right move and the Bruins have a whole offseason ahead of them to acquire talent to add depth at the goaltender position.
While the team would probably rather have Thomas on the team than not, the Bruins have the ability to have a fine season with or without the outspoken goalie.
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