What Tim Thomas' Signing Means to the Philadelphia Flyers

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IApril 3, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 29: Goalkeeper Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on March 29, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins and goaltender Tim Thomas have agreed to a three-year pact, according to several published reports.

With the official deal expected to be announced Saturday, the Bruins landed a haymaker to the Philadelphia Flyers' chances of finding a No. 1 goalkeeper this July.

Thomas, one of the top candidates for the Vezina trophy, is 33-11-7 for the top dogs in the East. The 34-year-old leads the league in goals against (2.11) and save percentage (.931) and earned his first trip to the NHL All-Star game.

So you ask how does the Thomas contract extension affect the Flyers?

The consensus is that the Flyers are in dire need of a No. 1 goalie and they were going to cash in on one this offseason. That need is now even tougher to fill come the market's open this summer.

This season has seen the top two goalies sign extensions—the other being Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom.

The goaltending market is slim with one guy who is a proven No. 1 and two or three others that are arguable No. 1s.

Nikolai Khabibulin will be the most sought after netminder this summer with Martin Biron, Scott Clemmensen, Kari Lehtonen, and Dwayne Roloson.

If the Flyers were looking for a backup goalie, this market would be a good one, but that's not the case.

Now they are going to go hard after Khabibulin or try to land one in a trade; however they must find a No. 1 goaltender this offseason.