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

Jan 13, 2013, 3:45 PM EST

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.

CSNNE.com’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.

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