NHL rumors: Tim Thomas talking to multiple teams, nearing decision

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Thomas last played for Boston two seasons ago. (USATSI)
Thomas last played for Boston two seasons ago. (USATSI)

More NHL offseason: Rumors | Top 50 Free Agents | Buyout Tracker | Trades | Transactions

Remember how Tim Thomas told his agent at the beginning of the offseason to look for options for the veteran goalie? Apparently the search has never stopped nor have any discussions.

Now Thomas could make a decision very soon per Craig Custance of ESPN.com.

To be honest, I had nearly forgotten that Thomas was still looking, the goalie market has been so inactive this summer and there has been a complete dearth of spots available to sign anybody, let alone a goalie who has been inactive for more than a year.

When you look around the league there just don't appear to be many if any spots for him to take. The one team that does pop to mind is Florida, what with Scott Clemmensen being out for a few weeks and their goaltending relying just on young Jakob Markstrom. But the Panthers aren't known to spend money either. Maybe the Flames would be interested, or maybe that's just me not trusting Karri Ramo to be a No. 1 in the NHL at all.

Or perhaps most interesting of all would be in Vancouver to back up Roberto Luongo. Man would that be fun. They have a little more than $2 million in cap space and while people like Eddie Lack, he has no NHL experience.

UPDATE: Indeed it looks as though the Panthers are the team most interested and if there is a fit that's likely where it will come.

All I know is that this is exciting. I'd really love to see Thomas come back to the NHL to see what he can do. The risk/reward potential on any deal with Thomas is through the roof; if he's still on his game then some team instantly gets one of the best goalies in the league. But he could very well be off his game and that's when the other stuff that would come with Thomas, the "baggage" that started to pile up at the end of his time in Boston, would come into play.

I suppose one option is just to simply stay out of the game as well but if discussions are continuing with multiple teams then it's not likely to be an option he'll take.

Thomas took a sabbatical this past season and had his contract traded to the Islanders, who chose not to keep him (although I suppose they could remain interested as well). When we last saw him play for the Bruins he had a 25-19-1 record with a .920 save percentage and 2.36 GAA. Not bad for a then-37-year-old.

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