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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Tim Thomas
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Thomas' return to the NHL in 2013-14 was rather unceremonious after a season off. He played in 40 games for the Panthers, accumulating a 2.87 goals against and a .909 save percentage. He was then traded to Dallas at the deadline and got some playing time when Kari Lehtonen went down, posting a 2.97 goals against average and a .902 save percentage over eight appearances. He also made a pretty ugly appearance in the World Championships for the USA where he had a 3.49 goals against average and a .869 save percentage over eight games in the tourney. At 40, Thomas is past his prime, without a team, and unlikely to find a starting job in the NHL. Retirement may (and should) loom.
The free-spirited Thomas remains the ultimate wild card for 2013-14. At press time, the enigmatic Thomas was still an unrestricted free agent. If any No. 1 goalie gets hurt, early expect Thomas' phone to ring. Will he be up to the task? His outstanding track record suggest a resounding "you betcha." Taking a chance on Thomas could win you a title. But be smart about it. If you are willing to take that kind of all-or-nothing chance, than select Thomas no sooner than your last pick as your No. 3 goalie -- or better yet pick him off the wire.
Thomas plans to take the coming season off for personal reasons, which was a shocking development to say the least, given the high level that the former Vezina Trophy winner was playing at. Under the NHL's current collective bargaining arrangement, if Thomas follows through with his plan to sit out the season - and there’s no reason to believe he won’t at press time - the Bruins are still slated to be responsible for his $5 million cap hit. In any case, the Bruins are prepared to move on with Tuukka Rask as their starting netminder this season.
Thomas, who was expected to take a back seat to Tuukka Rask this past season on the heels of offseason hip surgery, bounced back in a big way, reclaiming the starting gig in Boston en route to compiling a 35-11-9 record, with a sparking 2.00 GAA and .938 save percentage in 57 games (including 55 starts). That was enough to earn him his second Vezina Trophy. At 37, the unorthodox/acrobatic Thomas is on top of his game and he'll enter next season as the B's undisputed starter. Fortunately for the team, the capable Rask will remain on hand to take some of the workload burden off of Thomas, who must also make room in his trophy case for the Conn Smyth Trophy.
Thomas, who is coming off offseason hip surgery, said he'll be ready for the start of training camp and as long as he remains with the Bruins -- and it would be tough to trade him given his lucrative deal -- he projects as a talented, respected, and very well-paid backup. Rising young star Tuukka Rask would have to regress in a big way (or suffer an injury) for the veteran Thomas, who won the Vezina Trophy in 2008-09, to reclaim the B's starting goalkeeper gig.
Thomas went 36-11-7 with a league-leading 2.10 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage to help lead the Bruins to the top seed in the Eastern Conference this past season. For his efforts, he signed a four-year, $20 million extension with the team and then was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder. Heading into the 2009-10 campaign, he'll once again be one of fantasy's better goaltending options with Boston having the talent to contend once again and the defensive mindset to keep opponents’ scoring down. At 35, we don’t think Thomas is going to regress, but he’s not going to come cheap and note that the team may try to keep him fresh by sprinkling in touted netminding prospect Tuukka Rask.
He's 34, and so is the now-healthy Manny Fernandez, which means a timeshare between the pipes is in the offing this year, while the promising Tuukka Rask is seasoned in the minors. Thomas has been undervalued in the past, but on the heels of his strong 2007-08 (2.44 GAA, .921 SV%), now is not the time to overvalue him given his projected reduced workload. Of course, injuries can change everything and Thomas has proved in the past the he can be counted on even when some may pine for a flashier option.
Thomas, who played in 66 games last season, will be hard pressed to get to 40 this season, if Manny Fernandez (knee) is healthy. The two will split the chores with Fernandez, the big off-season acquisition, expected to be the No. 1.
Despite an unorthodox style and the league's worst goalie mask (yes, even worse than Dominik Hasek's), Thomas burst onto the scene last year with an infectious enthusiasm and a Cinderella season. Technically just his second season in the bigs, 2005-06 was a breakout for the 32-year-old Thomas who dove and flopped his way to the seventh-best save percentage (.917) in the NHL and a brand new, three-year contract. But this battler has more holes in his game than a slice of Swiss cheese and NHL snipers will have studied enough game tape to feast on those holes this season. Even if he earns a platoon to start the season, young Hannu Toivonen will take it all away before Christmas. Make Thomas a waiver pick if he somehow gets hot again.