May 4, 2012, 12:13 PM EDT
Bruins president Cam Neely is “very happy” with his team’s goalies, and that includes the target of intense trade speculation, Tim Thomas.
“We have two strong goalies in both Tim and Tuukka [Rask],” Neely told CSNNE.com. “I think a lot of teams are probably envious of what we have here. It’s an area where we feel pretty comfortable.”
There are plenty of justifications for trading Thomas:
—- He’s 38 years old.
—- Rask, 25, had a .929 save percentage in 23 appearances this season, better numbers than Thomas (.920). At some point, the torch will have to be passed.
—- The B’s wouldn’t be giving Thomas away for free and there are always areas a team can improve.
—- That whole White House thing.
On the other hand, the Bruins don’t have another Vezina- and Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie kicking around.
Neely defended Thomas’ performance this season.
“I don’t think any of us expected him to have the same numbers as he did last year,” Neely said. “That was a world-class year. It would be really hard to expect him to have the same numbers. With the White House thing, I know some people would like to hang their hat on that. But knowing Timmy’s personality, I don’t think it affected him all that much.”
Thomas has a year left on his contract with a $5 million cap hit. According to CapGeek.com, his no-trade clause expires July 1.
Whether the Bruins trade Thomas likely depends on what they can get back.
Toronto and Chicago are a couple of teams that could be interested. The Leafs and Blackhawks remain committed to James Reimer and Corey Crawford, respectively, but both goalies could use a veteran to take the pressure off while they develop.
Another Leafs-Bruins trade would be fun, wouldn’t it?
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