Bruins goalie Thomas may sit out next season

The SportsXchange

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is not sure if goalie Tim Thomas will return for the final year of his contract next season.

Chiarelli said on a conference call Friday that Thomas might sit out for family reasons, according to ESPN Boston.

"Tim came to me via his agent toward the beginning of May and said he was thinking of taking the year off," Chiarelli said. "The reasons are ... I'm not exactly sure, but he did give reasons why regarding the family, which obviously I respect."

Chiarelli said he has to work under the assumption that the two-time Vezina Trophy winner won't be with the team next season.

"I've had some discussions with Tim and he's told me that he wants to play in the Olympics the following year, so I'll have more discussions with him later on," the GM said. "But we've got two very capable goalies in (Tuukka) Rask and (Anton) Khudobin, so I'd be more than satisfied if that's who we have to go with."

Rask is a restricted free agent and Khudobin has a year left on his contract. The Bruins also signed goalie Niklas Svedberg to an entry-level contract earlier in the week.

Thomas is due to make $3 million and will cost the Bruins $5 million against the salary cap. Chiarelli said if Thomas does not make a definitive decision on whether he will play by the beginning of next season, he would suspend him.

If the Bruins do suspend Thomas, the team would still take a salary cap hit.

Chiarelli also said that Thomas' potential decision to sit out the season and his age has diminished his trade value.

"I'm disappointed, but these things happen, and you gotta roll with them," Chiarelli said. "You got to deal with them, and when someone talks about their family and stuff, you have to respect that. We're not too disabled on the cap side and that was a strength of our team, but this happens as years progress and players take over certain roles, and that's what happened here."

Thomas won 35 games last season, allowed 2.35 goals per game and had a .920 save percentage.
View Comments