With the lockout now a thing of the past and games are beginning this weekend, there’s still one player who is sticking to his word and taking a season off. For those who are wondering if goalie Tim Thomas got the itch to come back on the ice in January, I hope you didn’t hold your breath. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli already knew that as already had a plan in place for Thomas that is rather unconventional.
He told CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty at training camp, “He’s told us that he’s not going to be here, but that he wants to play next year. So we’ll end up suspending him and we’ll be doing it in a non-adversarial way. So he’ll be on our cap unless we trade him. With the floor as it is at $44 million there’s probably not an opportunity to trade him to a team that needs to get to the floor. So we’re at a standstill right now.”
Nothing smells selfish than burning $5 million of your teams salary cap in favor of a sabbatical. He is technically in the last year of his contract, but should the Bruins “suspend” Thomas for the entire season they will have the option to shift the final year of his contract to next season. His cap hit will the same, and he will be slated to make $3 million per NHL Numbers. Fellow goalie Tuukka Rask carries a salary and cap hit of $3.5 million and will become a Restricted Free Agent after this season.
Should the Bruins shift his contract to next season, they will be unable to re-sign him as a free agent at a lower cap number if they wanted him to come back to the team. So for Thomas, it looks like his playing career will be Boston or bust come September.