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After a record-breaking 2010-2011 season in which he won the Conn Smythe and Vezina trophies, Tim Thomas was the goalie you wanted to have on your team. It didn’t matter if he faced seven shots or 70 shots; he would bring his A game night in and night out. His consistent play led the Bruins to their first Stanley cup in 39 years.
This season, though, wasn’t so much of a joyride for the 38-year-old. With constant pressure to perform well due to the solid play of Tuukka Rask (who is an unrestricted free agent this upcoming offseason), Thomas’s stats dropped in every category. At times, Rask started playing in the prime time games, including the day-after-Thanksgiving showdown against the high powered Detroit Red Wings, which ended in a 3-2 shootout loss.
The Bruins also have goaltending talent in the AHL with Anton Khudobin, who started one game in the NHL against Ottawa, stopping 41 of 42 shots in a 3-1 win. The biggest reason Thomas had a down year, though, is not the other talent within the organization. It is the fact that Thomas, at 38, is not getting any younger.
The Bruins need a consistent scorer, who can put the puck in the net on a consistent basis and who can contribute to their mediocre power play. The Bruins are rumored to have been in talks with offers from the Chicago Blackhawks, who were willing to offer up forward Viktor Stalberg. There have also been rumors of the Blackhawks dealing Patrick Kane for the Thomas, but I hardly believe they would give up such young talent for a goalie who’s seen better days. With the Blackhawks in desperate need for a goalie, I feel the Bruins could get a little more out of the deal then Viktor Stalberg (perhaps a first round draft pick would be nice).
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli denied the accusations of trading Thomas, stating he’s “not inclined on trading Thomas.” The organization has a long offseason ahead of them and we will see where things take them. Thomas might not get traded, but I bet he will be in trade talks throughout the league.
So, all we can do is watch the rest of the playoffs and wait to see what happens with the Bruins organization.