The NHL trade deadline has brought about several noteworthy trades, but the Florida Panthers made an interesting one Wednesday afternoon when they decided to move veteran goalie Tim Thomas to the Dallas Stars.
Bob McKenzie of TSN reported the news on Twitter:
Tim Thomas headed to DAL. #Tradecentre— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 5, 2014
Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet confirmed the report and added that a backup goalie was included in the deal:
Thomas made the move from the Boston Bruins to the Panthers this past offseason after taking the previous season off at the age of 38. But with a record of 16-20-3 to go along with 2.87 goals against average, his highest since the 2006-07 season, the Panthers needed to make a move.
After bringing in Roberto Luongo Tuesday, per The Star, Florida had two experienced goaltenders with neither likely wanting to take a back seat to the other. Thomas joked about the situation Tuesday, according to Mike Cole of NESN:
It looked like (Florida genera manager Dale Tallon) went kicking some tires and found one that needed to be pumped. It’ll be interesting. I don’t know how things are going to work out assuming I stay in Florida, it will be interesting. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun.
Now the veteran will have to hold off on the tire pumping, as Julie Stewart-Binks of Fox Sports 1 joked about on Twitter:
Looks like the tire pumping will have to wait. Tim Thomas is now a Dallas Star.— Julie Stewart-Binks (@JSB_FOX) March 5, 2014
Thanks to his play with the Bruins, Thomas already has a Stanley Cup to his name from 2011 along with the Conn Smythe Trophy from that same season. He's also a four-time All-Star and two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy.
Can Tim Thomas help the Stars?
Thomas still has the pedigree of an All-Star goalie despite his mild struggles this season with the Panthers. But with a 3-7 record over his last 10 starts, Thomas will need to turn things around if he plans to help the Stars down the stretch.
The goalie suffered through a few injuries this season including a groin injury back in December that caused him to sit out a few games on injured reserve.
With Kari Lehtonen already putting together a great season (he's fourth in the NHL in saves with 1,351 and goals allowed with 124), Thomas will make a great backup for the team.
Dallas is grasping to a playoff spot for now. But with two goalies that have experience in pressure situations coming down the stretch, the Stars have a chance to make it back to the postseason for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
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