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What are the Bruins’ options if Thomas refuses to play?

Jun 1, 2012, 8:53 PM EST

As we previously reported, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas might decide to skip the 2012-13 season rather than play for the remainder of his contract. Which leads us to the big question: What now?

If you want to get up to date on all the angles regarding the surprising revelation out of Boston, you should check out CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty’s video on the matter:

The Bruins’ first order of business should be re-signing Tuukka Rask, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer. Assuming they do that – and they should be able to sign Rask without incident – then they will be fine from a goaltending perspective. Rask has been a superb backup for three years, he was a highly regarded prospect before that, and at the age of 25, he’s ready to take the next step.

So the biggest question isn’t if the Bruins can survive without Thomas, it’s how bad would his $5 million cap hit hurt them. According to capgeek.com, they have $60,327,976 in cap space tied up to 19 players, including Thomas and Marc Savard – the latter of which will probably end up on the long-term injured reserve list. So they do still have some breathing room if the cap goes up to $70.3 million as projected.

The problem is that the new CBA might bring the cap down, which could create some headaches for the Bruins. Even if it doesn’t, this issue might be cause enough for Boston to avoid making any major acquisitions this summer unless they’re willing to get creative.

One way around this problem – if Thomas decides not to play – is to trade him to a team that’s struggling to reach the cap floor. Of course, if Thomas has made it clear by that point that he doesn’t want to play, then the Bruins aren’t likely to get anything of note in return unless Thomas is included in a much bigger deal.

At any rate, this is one potential problem that not many people would have predicted that the Bruins would have just a few weeks ago.

  1. pantherpro - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Go work for that loser Romney. I wish Obama would beat you down punk! No respecting fool!

    • blomfeld - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:11 PM

      I agree, he should go and work for the Romney campaign ! … first this guy thinks he’s too cool for Obama and now he thinks he’s too cool for his own employer ? … what a complete joke ! … go find yourself a lake there Thomas, perhaps like Hayden Lake ? … and then do us all a favor by jumping in with some cement shoes ! … your kind of ignorant intolerance and one-dimensional thinking is a total waste of time !

      • comradeast - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM

        You are both a bunch of idiots and should hang yourselves.

        This is a hockey blog.

        Keep your politics to yourself.

      • blomfeld - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:43 PM

        it’s actually possible that “you” sir are a complete idiot ! …

    • sabatimus - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      Shut your politicking trap up.

  2. eigglesnosuperbowls - Jun 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Sign Peggy !

  3. phipfwe76 - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Hasn’t Rask been the goalie in waiting for about 4 years anyway?

  4. blueblood86 - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    That loser Loser Romney????
    Really??
    I wanna see you fall on your face November 6th!

    • blomfeld - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      seriously ? … Romney might be even “goofier” than that idiot Dan Quayle !

      • comradeast - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:03 AM

        Idioy

  5. pantherpro - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Quayle reference is perfect! How would Romney like it if one of the many brothers on the Celtics ( Are there any white players in the NBA?) showed no respect like the little fat man THomas did? Go play in a pickup league Redneck!

    • drewsylvania - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      Pretty hilarious since the Panthers would take him in a heartbeat.

    • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      Barack Obama is neither black nor white, but rather “both” … he is a 50/50 mixture blended into “one”, which is what we should all aspire to be as a people … especially in terms of mind, spirit, compassion and love …

  6. drewsylvania - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    This is neither surprising nor a problem.

    1) Thomas made rumblings about retirement before *last* season.
    2) Rask. Duh.

    Best bet is his teammates think his politics are crap and as a result he doesn’t want to be around that locker room another year.

  7. capsfan19 - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Politics aside thomas is an ass. Boston you should all be ashamed of your once shining star. He’s even laughing in all your faces too!
    The dude slights the president (not taking into account politics if the man invites you its the damn president) then slights his team…
    “well fans, its been a great time. I got one more year left but you know ive been crying constantly after losing to the capitals… I lost to a 20 year old goaltender (now 21 for you factual freaks).”

    • sabatimus - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      Politics ASIDE he’s an ass? Methinks your head is up one.

      • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:46 AM

        *** just yesterday at a golf course ***

        pro shop guy: hello friend, how can I help you ?

        sabatimus: listen asshole … I wanna golf here right now !

        pro shop guy: you don’t say ?

        sabatimus: yeah “I say” you idiot ! … no where’s the first tee ?

        pro shop guy: guards ! … kindly show this man to the first tee box … “head first” !

        sabatimus: say what ? … hey man, how’s it going ?

        guards: shut up you Romney lover ! … KAPOW ! … KABOOM ! … KAZAM !

    • drewsylvania - Jun 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Crying? We’re still happy about 2011. As for the Caps, they’ve never won anything.

      Talk about defense mechanisms.

  8. pastabelly - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:36 AM

    This move makes it impossible to trade him and the team is ready to move on in any case. Take the cap hit and offset it with Savard’s exemption and move on. Thomas was a a great goalie for the Bruins but is a bit of a nut. It’sTuukka time.

  9. neelyisgod - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Sign Tonya Harding to a 2 day goalie contract, mysteriously Thomas becomes injured and out for the season, place him on the LTIR, problem solved.

  10. chiadam - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    If Thomas does indeed sit out a year, he’ll be more hated in Boston than minorities. Zing!

  11. nhbsfan - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Not to interrupt all the politics discussion or anything, but here is my comment from the other story about Thomas taking a year off. He signed the contract extension when he was 34..so the cap hit should not be there if he is suspended/retires/moves to a cabin and becomes Unabomber 2.0…

    I’m surprised nobody has bothered to research this. When Thomas first signed the extension it was days before his 35th birthday to avoid that rule stated above. He was 34 when he signed so the over 35 rule does not apply if I understand it correctly…

    http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/extras/bruins_blog/2009/04/thomas_inks_new.html

    “Thomas was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. According to a source in the Bruins front office, part of what was driving the club to get the deal done now is that fact that Thomas will turn 35 years old on April 15.

    When a player signs a new deal after his 35th birthday, per the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), although he can be bought out (at a two-thirds reduction in pay), his cap number can not be deleted from the club’s salary commitments.”

  12. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Ship him to the KHL and see if he wants to complain about the federal government over there.

    • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      here here to that ! … :)

  13. colby7 - Jun 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    NHBSFAN:

    Good point, and that is actually why Thomas takeing a year off and NOT retiring is a slight to the Bruins. If he retires, his cap hit is removed from the roster. If he skips a year and is suspended, they are stuck with his cap hit and wont be able to trade him. Selfish for Thomas, because he could just retire and then make a return.

    He must have developed this scheme with his agent, becuase it is really sticking it to the Bruins. I think the Bruins had his back, its the Boston media he is mad at.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 2, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Does he get paid if he retires, instead of “taking a year off”?

  14. habsman - Jun 2, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Maybe he’s just tired of living in that bigoted cesspool.

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