Skip to content

Tim Thomas not coming back this year, only wants to play for Boston next season

Jan 13, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

Tim Thomas AP

By now you already know Bruins goalie Tim Thomas isn’t coming back to play for the team this year. This was a fact Boston GM Peter Chiarelli already knew. How that situation is handled this season and what happens next might make your head spin one more time.’s Joe Haggerty spoke with Chiarelli at B’s training camp and finds out what’s next for the two-time Vezina Trophy winner.

“He’s told us that he’s not going to be here, but that he wants to play next year,” said general manager Peter Chiarelli. “So we’ll end up suspending him and we’ll be doing it in a non-adversarial way. So he’ll be on our cap unless we trade him. With the floor as it is at $44 million there’s probably not an opportunity to trade him to a team that needs to get to the floor. So we’re at a standstill right now.”

The Bruins do have the option to “toll” his contract if he’s suspended for the whole year. That just means the final year of his deal is carried over to next season which sounds almost ideal if the Bruins are interested in having him back.

Then again, the Bruins have some room under the cap and tolling his deal wouldn’t give them the chance to re-sign him at a lower cap hit next season as a free agent if they wanted him to rejoin the team. Regardless, it seems like it’s Bruins or bust for Thomas in 2013-14.

  1. kingfooj - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    fat chance

  2. bensawesomeness - Jan 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    When they won the Cup, i thought the world of this guy. He could do no wrong.
    Now i just think he’s crazy.

    • jhuck92 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      I think it’s crazy he still has that porn star ‘stache.

  3. buff80 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    What a tool

  4. zetaone - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    They’ve already moved on. It would make ZERO sense for them to have Thomas back.

    They have their guy in Rask. With Khudobin and later, Subban as suitable backups.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Except none of these guys are proven NHL starters. Wait until they play some games before deciding who should be playing next year.

      Subban will only be 20 next year so it’s safe to say he’s several years away from the NHL.

    • tbbolts91 - Jan 13, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      if rask does bad this season, the B’s will be begging to have thomas back. he’s actually a good goalie if you couldn’t remember…

  5. steelers88 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I hope they don’t give Tim another chance.

  6. yanks33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    So Rask takes the helm this yr…then Thomas expects to stroll back in next yr and take his job back? Does he just expect Rask to be his backup again? Sounds kind of selfish to me

    • sabatimus - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      That’s what Timmy has been all about since his “non-political” political remarks on his Facebook page. What he wants is unreasonable.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Where did he say he expects to be a starter when he comes back? If there’s a guy who understands you have to earn an NHL roster spot, it’s him.

      While it’s not ideal, he informed the B’s early on last year what he intended to do. No one cries when a team forces Redden or Gomez down because they don’t want their cap hit but when Thomas wants to take a year off, people act like he’s the worst person ever.

      • sabatimus - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        No, I acted like he was the worst person ever when he said his “non-political” political comments, didn’t show up for his team at the White House, and kept running his mouth well after he said he wouldn’t. And the content of those political comments made me question his sanity.

        The rest of this is just (no-touch) icing.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        So do you have an issue every year when any number of athlete/management don’t show up to the White House?

      • badintent - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:19 AM

        Exactly !! That would include half of the NBA, throw in a few NFL ers, and the other half of Congress that would tell Orama to stuff it.Maybe his wife will stop wearing $$$ millions of “donated ” jewelry and stop pretending to slum shopping at Target.Her shoulders are even bigger than in 2008. Roids !

      • sabatimus - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        It’s called sticking with your team. And Timmy made the whole thing into a farce ripe for a media blowout.

      • sabatimus - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        I seem to have misread both of your posts I think–both of you seem to be talking about ALL players, which is patently absurd since all players do NOT play for a championship-winning team and get invited to the White House.

  7. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    This guy is a total nutjob, his views are the polar opposite of my own, but if he is a free agent in the off-season (and Bryz is released) I wouldn’t be opposed to him joining the Flyers for a year or two. He used to frustrate me so much with his unorthodox athletic saves, so it’d be nice to have him on our side. Now all of this is purely hypothetical but it appears as if the Bruins will not want Thomas back in the locker-room if Rask plays up to his potential. He’d probably be a big distraction, especially since President Obama is in his second term. I’m sure his tea party blood is boiling over that.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      He’s the exact same guy before the Facebook posts, you just didn’t know about it.

  8. geo91 - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Tim Thomas should not be talked about, he should just be gone

  9. mikebel11 - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    So wouldn’t it make sense to toll him into next year and then use a compliance buyout and save your self a 5 million dollar cap hit?

  10. govtminion - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    That he’s pulled this act in the first place is utterly bizarre. That he’s so arrogant as to think that he can just walk away for a year, then come back and bump Rask aside to be the B’s goalie again- particularly at his age!- is a sign that he’s completely out of touch with reality.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Where are you reading he expects to be the starter?

      • govtminion - Jan 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        Would you honestly expect him to be coming back as a smiling and happy backup to Rask?

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        Yes, I would expect that he would have no problem trying to earn his roster spot no matter what team he plays for. It’s what he has done his whole career.

      • govtminion - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        He also didn’t sit out seasons in protest of political policies in the past. We’re kind of through the looking glass when it comes to Tim Thomas’ behavior at this point, I think you’d have to agree.

      • drewzducks - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        With his mindset I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was amenable to coming back in 13-14 as a 37? year old backup. Now how that would go over or be acceptable in the locker room is a completely different story. Again despite all the garbage, without him the Bruins are going on 41 years without a Cup.

  11. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Maybe a back up. Or lock him up then v trade him for a prospect.

  12. hawkeyplayer - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    as a HUGE fan of BRUINS and Thomas….


    at first I believed he had inside info there was going to be a lockout… but now that its over….hmmmm.

    seems very selfish from a fans perspective, let alone what the team thinks.

    no offense to Marty Turco but he doesn’t have it anymore. we need TWO elite goalies in Rask and Thomas!!!

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      You sound like a big fan with your Turco talk. It’s great that you jumped on the bandwagon after the Cup win but maybe do a little reading.

    • govtminion - Jan 13, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      Turco’s contract was only for last season, to my knowledge. The plan this year, as I recall, is Rask and Khudobin.

  13. rbern11162 - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    I don’t blame him for being pissed at the bruins and the fans. Without him their is no cup. When he needed the fans , team and medias support they throw him under the bus. I don’t blame him for not going to the White House. Lots of lobs refused to got to the white goes when bush was president. It’s just pure hypocrisy

    • kitshky - Jan 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      First of all, “lots of Libs refused to go to the W.H.” isn’t even close to a verifiable fact and even if you could come up with a few who chose to avoid Bush they certainly didn’t do anything in the manner that Thomas did ….

      Which brings us to the second, and far more important point, the backlash against Thomas wasn’t about his political views as much as how he handled everything. He made everything about himself … to the exclusion of his teammates. (and that’s not even bringing up the odd “publicly tell the world your opinions using the social media outlets afforded you because of you celebrity .. then turning around and saying it’s no ones business”)

      • drewzducks - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Theo Epstein the boy wonder GM who after an bit of a WS drought, if you didn’t hear, was a no show in ’04…again you’re right about the selfishness of Thomas’ actions, but his beliefs weren’t a complete surprise to management, whereas Theo, the most visible member of the front office also let his political leanings frame his decision to snub W…one could argue that a member of team management would be held to a higher standard then a player but again I find both decisions selfish.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        You couldn’t be more wrong. In Boston, almost the entirety of the media is made of left-wing crazies who bash anyone who doesn’t buy into the Obama agenda. That’s not even opinion, it’s a fact.

        It was one reporter in Boston who kept bringing up the issue at every post-game interview for the entire season.

      • lewdood - Jan 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        re: hockeyflow
        Ah yes, how could we forget those grand bastions of liberalism, he Boston Herald and WRKO-AM. Or the WEEI morning show with the Herald columnist.

        I live in MA, and lived in Boston seven years. Western MA is liberal, eastern MA (especially working-class white eastern MA) are pretty conservative. Thus the popularity of the Herald & WRKO.

      • kitshky - Jan 14, 2013 at 1:15 PM


        I’m not talking about within Boston, everyone knows Boston is a majorly Liberal leaning place. I’m talking about throughout hockey, in and out of Boston, and on both sides of the border.

  14. acieu - Jan 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM


  15. whatthepuck2012 - Jan 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    So, the guy says in the offseason (before the lockout) that he was taking a season off. Then the lockout happened, and now for some reason it’s a “strange story” that he still intends to take a season off. The guy bugs the crap outta me (even though our political views are similar), but this isn’t a story.

  16. csilojohnson - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    This guy is a complete tool.

  17. arbruins - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    What seems crazy is that everyone is on Thomas’ ass for skipping a year. The NHL can do that for over half the year and you welcome them back open arms…oh yeah, we missed you so much NHL.

    Band wagon jumpers, dump on the NHL Like you are on Thomas and see what happens when they talk about strikes or lockouts. There won’t be any.

    Atleast he told everyone up front that he was sitting out this year. Seems he made the right choice, it really won’t be a real season now will it.

    Next post will be about how the team schedules will be a disaster and how screwed over Chicago is going to be with the amount of back to back games they will have. It is going to be a mess.

    I hope he comes back next year and proves everyone wrong.

  18. hawkeyplayer - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    2013-2014 Season: Luongo to Bruins??

  19. nhstateline - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    this could make sense and here’s why. Rask wants to make the most money he can (and who can blame him really) but he won’t get it from the Bruins given their cap situation and he’s already turned down a multi-year contract to try to score big after this season (again, who can blame him ?). After Rask turned down the multi-year, the Bruins brought a guy named Nikolas Svedberg to the AHL this year and he’s been great (can’t blame them for doing that either)Thus, a year of Thomas with Svedberg as the backup then the job goes to Svedberg. Rask’s value will be high after this season if he wins his bet that he has a good season as I expect him to do. They flip Rask in the same kind of deal as they moved Kessel (the Leafs like Tuuka and the need a goalie, right ?), get more young players for the future, deal with the lessened cap and don’t have a goalie problem. And if that doesn’t work out Anton Khoudobin isn’t a bad goalie either.

    • eastcoastwingette - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Not going to lie, just wanted to idiotically yell “TIMMM-AAAYY!” but was too intrigued by your comments. Great points, though I think the huge issue here is whether or not Rask is actually a top-notch goaltender. He’s always wanted to be the #1, and has been projected to be for quite a while now… When Thomas got injured and Rask finally had his chance (I think this was 2 seasons ago?), he didn’t live up to expectations and was basically skewered by Boston fans. He’s a solid netminder but not much else.
      A trade with the Leafs? For what? Good god man, have you seen the Leafs?
      Tampa needs a goalie, Philly (though they should keep Bryz on for marketing and TV purposes alone… he’s insane and incredibly entertaining), Nashville, I guess Pittsburgh does too but the general consensus is we all can’t stand them so no one cares…
      Who would you trade for? Bruins are pretty solid on both ends right now, so unless they could somehow upgrade on goaltending or get a great draft pick, let’s stick with Tuuka. (And there is no way he’s worth a first round pick.)

      • bearcountry17 - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        So much wrong in this post. When Rask filled in for an injured Thomas in 09-10 he led ALL goaltenders with a 1.97 GAA and a .931 save percentage in 45 games played. In a 48 game season he will probably play around 35-40 games. I dont see why he cant put up close those numbers this year. Rask is the goalie of the future for the Bs and barring injury will be a top 5 goalie in the game.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        I think we’ve all become accustomed to having the best goalie in the league the past few years that we don’t realize how difficult it is to find solid goaltending.

        I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think Rask is the next great goalie; I think Khudobin is a more technically sound goalie than Rask.

  20. eastcoastwingette - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    @bearcountry17 Not disagreeing with you at all, my friend. Why on earth would we get rid of Rask? I still stand by my original statement that he’s a solid goaltender *and* that Bruins fans were ready to throw the guy into the Charles when he didn’t end up being the second coming of Brodeur or whoever. Everyone loved him as Thomas’ back-up and then wanted to kill him. Given his stats and how he actually performed, that was pretty unfair.
    Top 5? Nah, Top 10.

    • nhstateline - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      I said it could make sense and it can. I also like Rask but am not sold on him as a number 1 yet but I think he’s a good player so I’m not a hater. I’m looking for value and cap management. 1. The Bruins have cap issues that are going to accelerate for a couple of years at least and 2. Rask, as is his right, wants the best contract he can get. So they’re going to have to dump other players to keep him most likely. How much is it worth to weaken the team in other areas if you have an adaquate, cheaper replacement in the minors for Rask (it’s value over replacement player applied to hockey) Plus 3. Svedberg looks like an NHL goalie. Just because he hasn’t played in the NHL yet doesn’t mean he won’t excel in it. He looks like he’s going to. So, you have two goalies who are NHL ready in Thomas and Khoudobin meaning you can do a transition year (or two) because you have a third goalie who looks like he’s where Rask was a few years ago, 4. solve your cap problems and 5. get back future assets. I mentioned Toronto because they have the potential to be in the draft lottery again and need a goalie. I want the best value in return for the asset being traded so I don’t care who the trade partner is, I just care about the value in the trade. This is how these things get done in organizations in sports that have salary caps that win continually. It sounds like something a certain football team in Foxboro might do for example because it is based on a similar approach to value and total roster.

      • eastcoastwingette - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        Go Pats! We haven’t been able to get my brother out of his “Superman wears Tom Brady pajamas” t-shirt all week.

        An interesting proposition. And yes, you’re right, it does make sense.
        What do you think Rask will ask for? (And who in the league would be willing to pay?) Also, how bad is the B’s cap space at the moment? As a Wings diehard, I follow the Bruins more out of sheer loyalty to the city of Boston and am not as up to date as I probably should be.

  21. pastabelly - Jan 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Tuukka only signed a one year deal. If he doesn’t pan out or holds out, Thomas would be a great placeholder until Subban is ready. 2-3 years.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      The only problem with that is there aren’t many 22 or 23 year old goalies who come in and maintain their effectiveness after their first year.

  22. jason9696 - Jan 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I don’t get this guy at all. He was in his late 20’s when he made his NHL debut. You’d think he’d want to play as much as possible. Oh well. At least he won a Stanley Cup against the Vancouver Canucks. LOL

  23. pastabelly - Jan 14, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Bruins cap situation is not great and that’s why there have been rumors of Krejci trades and no room for Horton after this year. Thomas may need a year off. People are all bent out of shape because he gave up some soft goals to the Caps. But maybe he was worn down, especially after Tuukka got hurt last year. He may have also gotten tired of everyone saying it was time for Tuukka to be the #1 goalie. He’s been an amazing Bruin.

  24. gi0lui - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Jeremy Jacobs will not let Bruins management bring Thomas back, period. They’ll do whatever to wait out the situation, but when a reasonable opportunity to unload him presents itself, Tim goes poof.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1983)
  2. P. Kessel (1256)
  3. M. Richards (1184)
  4. N. Backstrom (1083)
  5. M. Giordano (987)