When Tuukka Rask(notes) emerged as the better goaltender in the Boston Bruins' lineup this season, it was only a matter of time before rumors of a Tim Thomas(notes) trade would begin surfacing. The 2009 Vezina Trophy winner struggled last season and watched the majority of the second half, including all of the 13 Bruins playoff games from the bench.
Thomas signed a four-year, $20 million extension that included a no-trade clause last April which makes him less attractive as possible trade bait due to the fact that his contract is a "35 and over" deal, meaning the money stays on a teams' books should he retire before it expires. But this is the NHL and there are a number of teams looking for goaltending. The San Jose Sharks and Philadelphia Flyers are just two of the teams that are rumored to have interest.
Thursday, TSN reported that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli gave Thomas' agent, Bill Zito, permission to other teams about a possible trade. That set off rumor alerts around the NHL that Thomas could be moved as soon as this weekend during the draft. The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont spoke with Zito Thursday and quelled the rumors:
"I am not proactively looking for places for Timmy to be traded,'' Zito said yesterday, shortly after tsn.ca reported that Chiarelli had issued the get-out-of-Boston permission slip. "I haven't talked to anyone to this point, and I don't anticipate talking to anyone.''
"Here's what Timmy is saying,'' said Zito, who also represents Rask. "He's saying, ‘Look, if you want to move me, sure, I'll look at it. I'm not going to be a jerk and just say I'm not going anywhere, forget it.' But that's all he's saying.''
CSN New England's Joe Haggrety passed along a quote from Chiarelli vehemently denying that Thomas is looking for a way out of Boston:
"Tim in no way wants to be traded. He wants to be a Bruin. No overt effort to trade Tim and there's no trade request"
Speaking of players with no-trade clauses, according to CSN New England's Joe Haggerty, Thomas' teammate, Marc Savard(notes), would be open to waiving his for a deal to the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks or Toronto Maple Leafs. The problem, as Haggerty points out, is that there's no interest in Savard from any of those three teams. Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos adds that Savard's NTC is a full one until July 1 and then becomes limited.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Globe threw cold water on speculation around Savard writing Friday that Chiarelli has not approached the Bruins pivot about waiving his NTC, so if there's going to be any heavy movement in Los Angeles, it doesn't look like Boston will be involved.