When the 2012-13 NHL season begins after the summer, don’t expect Tim Thomas to me manning the blue paint for the Boston Bruins.
Thomas’ agent, Bill Zito, recently contacted Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and informed him that Thomas was considering not playing in 2012-13, the final season of his four-year, $20 million contract.
“As of right now, I’m operating under the premise there is a strong possibility of him taking the year off,’’ Chiarelli said on Friday during a conference call. “We’d have to go about our business without Tim Thomas for the year.’’
Thomas cited family reasons for his decision to sit the season out, but there seems to be more to this story than meets the eye. Vezina-winning goaltenders who play for top teams don’t just suddenly decide to kick back and take the year off. Chiarelli even added that it’s not easy for a 38-year-old to come back, especially when the Bruins have Tuukka Rask waiting in the wings.
In 2011-12, Thomas made 59 regular-season appearances, going 35-19-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
Thomas still has at least a season or two left in him and if he decides to follow through with his decision to sit the season out, I expect him to get the itch to hit the ice again sooner rather than later. Although depending on what other details come out in relation to this story, if Thomas does comeback next season, don’t expect him to be wearing a Bruins sweater.