Boston Bruins: Could Tim Thomas Sitting Out Actually Be A Win-Win?
Concomitant with the recent reports of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas sitting out next season, which looks more likely than ever as of Sunday, beat reporter Joe Haggerty of csnne.com has hinted at a potential NHL salary cap increase effective in 2012-13.
If that comes to pass, then talk about the hockey gods compensating one team for an unfortunate twist earlier in the game.
Regardless of whether tensions with his employers have anything to do with Thomas’ unorthodox plans, the fact that his $5 million cap hit will still count against Boston is nothing short of unjust.
It is certainly something for both sides to think about when the time comes to negotiate a new CBA and something both sides should consider changing. A front office should not be penalized for an employee’s inability to live up to a contract.
But under the current system, there is nothing anyone can do to control the consequences of Thomas’ absence. In turn, the Bruins should merely do what they can to put the Thomas saga in the cooler and focus on what they might have to work with.
If everything goes according to plan, they may end up with a double-blessing of not having the polarizing Thomas around to bring on (and deflect) distracting questions while also having enough money to reform their roster.
And that’s with Marc Savard still in the equation. So assuming the cap-ceiling rise happens and Savard is placed on long-term injured reserve, the Bruins suddenly will have up to a whopping $13,979,167 to work with.
Realistically, that ought to be enough to re-sign up to all four of the remaining free-agent forwards, defenseman Mike Mottau and Thomas’ heir-apparent, Tuukka Rask. Either that, or they can let one or two skaters go and make spending room for an upgrade to the depth chart.
If they decide Dougie Hamilton is ready to come on board the blue line, they may still need to sacrifice one or two more established skaters than they desire. But given that Hamilton is on an entry-level contract with a cap hit just below $1.5 million for each of the next three seasons, the core group of skaters from the 2011 championship run need not be significantly ruffled.
Something else that will not be ruffled in the coming year is the Bruins’ day-to-day affairs as they are influenced by their relationship with Thomas. And with the starting job decisively cleared for himself, Rask should happily take a reasonable pay raise as part of a new contract and strive to redress himself in 2012-13 the same way his longtime colleague did in 2010-11.
No more questions about internal competition. No more questions about waiting. No more questions about seeking a better opportunity in another city.
No more questions about the future, only statements about the present.
And if Rask blossoms like he can, it will be that much easier for the Bruins to deal Thomas, regardless of what comes in return, once he feels like playing again. That will allow for an easier turning of the page, and it will also be easier for the triumphant 2010-11 image of Thomas to trump his controversial 2011-12 counterpart in Boston’s annals.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?