Bruins GM Confirms Tim Thomas May Sit Out 2012-13 Season
Published: Friday, June 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, June 1, 2012 16:06
I come back from sabbatical today to talk about a Boston athlete who wants to take a sabbatical of his own.
A report from TSN in Canada Thursday night said that Bruins' goalie Tim Thomas is thinking of taking the 2012-2013 season off. Thomas is under contract for next season for five million dollars.
Friday, on a conference call to announce the signings of forwards Daniel Paille and newcomer Chris Bourque, - son of Bruins' legend Ray Bourque - general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed that Thomas and his agent came to the team in early May to inform them that he may sit out.
Chiarelli said that Thomas wants to spend more time with his family and that he may be fatigued from last year's grueling playoff run, in which Thomas won the Conn Smythe trophy for being the MVP of the playoffs. Chiarelli added that the two-time Vezina trophy winner did not request a contract extension.
The B's general manager said he is comfortable with Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin between the pipes and is preparing for Thomas to not be available.
“As of right now, I’m operating under the premise that it is a strong possibility of him taking the year off,” Chiarelli said. “We’d have to go about our business without Tim Thomas for the year.”
If Thomas were to sit out he could be suspended for the 2012-2013 season, but would be under contract for the 2013-2014 season and eligible to return to the Bruins.
Chiarelli told the media that he was disappointed in Thomas' decision but respects it, “I’m disappointed. These things happen. You’ve got to roll with them. You’ve got to deal with them. When someone talks about their family, you have to respect that. You’ve got to deal with it. We’re not too disabled on the cap side. But sure, that’s the strength of our team.”
Chiarelli did however confirm that Thomas wants to play for the United States in the 2014 Olympics.
Overall, if this is not some kind of negotiating ploy regarding a trade or contract, it is a bizarre decision for Thomas, 38, who is in good health and still capable of leading the Bruins in a deep playoff run.
Note: Daniel Paille was re-signed for three years and $3.9 million. Bourque, acquired last week from Washington, was signed for two years and is expected to be a candidate for the fourth line. Peter Chiarelli also confirmed on the conference call that Joe Corvo will not be returning to the Bruins next season.