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Boston trades Tim Thomas to Islanders

Feb 7, 2013, 5:21 PM EDT

Tim Thomas AP

The New York Islanders have acquired Tim Thomas from the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in either 2014 or 2015.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes the Bruins will only receive the pick if Thomas reports to the Isles, or if they trade his rights.

Thomas, 38, has not played this year after taking a sabbatical from hockey to “reconnect with friends, family and faith” in early June.

The former Conn Smythe and Vezina winner said he planned on returning for the 2013-14 season, but that he only wanted to play for Boston.

Prior to the trade, Boston had been stuck with Thomas’ cap hit, though it did receive some financial relief by suspending him, meaning the Bruins didn’t have to pay his salary.

Thomas will also play a role in New York’s financials as well.

“We have acquired an asset for our organization,” Isles GM Garth Snow said of the trade. “This acquisition allows us flexibility with our roster moving forward.”

New York, currently operating with the NHL’s smallest payroll (just over $49 million), already has two goalies under contract — Rick DiPietro ($4.5 million cap hit until 2021) and Evgeni Nabokov, who carries at $2.75 million cap hit this season.

Thomas has one year remaining on the four-year, $20 million deal (average annual cap hit of $5 million) he signed in 2009.

Here’s more, from Newsday’s Arthur Staple:

With the NHL’s salary cap floor at $44 million, bringing Thomas’ salary on board could allow the Islanders to move other players (via trade, perhaps) and still clear the floor.

Earlier today, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was added to the active roster, but has repeatedly tried to block his move to the Islanders.

Over the weekend, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun passed along a rumor that the Isles would be willing to part with defenseman Mark Streit — should they fall out of playoff contention.

Visnovsky and Streit are both impending UFAs with a combined cap hit of $9.7 million.


— McKenzie also notes the Isles can “toll” Thomas’ contract to next year (something the Bruins had the option of doing), or they can let it expire at the end of the year.

— Staple reports the Islanders are unlikely to toll the contract, as they want financial flexibility going into the offseason.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Makes me sad that he now definitely won’t be playing again here in Boston. He was easily the greatest B’s goalie in my lifetime and I have nothing but good thoughts about him.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Chip Kelley might trade for him at the quarterback position !

    • goalieguy37 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      Couldn’t agree with you more. how unfortunate that such a talented goalie made such an odd decision. He’s still one of my all time favorites for being a badass, an acrobat, knocking down Sedin in the cup final, and having that wrestling match with Carey Price:)

      and this
      are some of my favorite moments

    • sabatimus - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      I had nothing but good thoughts about him until he became anti-team.

  2. Jack Bauer 24 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Dont get too excited, he’ll never suit up for the Icelanders .

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      I’m guessing you probably said the same thing about Nabby…who is now quite content–and good–on the Island. Thomas might report and play just to annoy Jacobs and Chiarelli.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        It would be cool to see, but probably unrealistic. I think it’s safe to assume he probably won’t be resigning with Boston this off-season either. So his Bruins days are (most likely) done.

      • bigt12789 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Why would you want him to play if Nabby is currently content – and good? I appreciate how good Timmy was for the B’s but after a year away from the game at his age I don’t think he’s worth a 2nd round pick. So if he wants to play for the Islanders I’m pretty sure Chiarelli would be quite pleased.

      • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        One thing that can be said about Tim is that there is no predicting what he will do. I guess we’ll know what happens when it happens.

      • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        Nabby is good and contet…but he can’t play every game…and #39 is one groin tweak away from LTIR. If Tim were to report and play and the isles made the playoffs and drew the Bs…and Tim shut his former mates down…Jacobs and Chiarelli might be less happy I’m thinking.

      • soj83 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        I think the only way he plays is if Nabokov and/or DiPeitro get injured and the Isles are fighting for a playoff spot. Even if one of their goalies go down, and they don’t feel like they have a great shot, why would you give up a second round pick for a couple games? The Islanders would really have to sweeten the deal to for him to play because he was adamant about not playing this year. Doesn’t make much sense for the Islanders play him.

      • bigt12789 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        Bcisle- do you mean the playoffs for this year? Because I’m sorry but if he wasn’t coming out of the bunker to play for Boston I don’t see how he’d come out for the Islanders. I know this is not a man who is always known for his rational thinking but I don’t think any kind of grudge against the B’s would be enough to get him to suit up for NY.

  3. ethanmacleod1685 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Tim Thomas is a bum Jerry, a bum!!!!!

    • namriverrat69 - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      Thanks Ethan, that was an insightful comment.

  4. dropthepuckeh - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Frees up $5 million in cap space for the Bruins which they can now spend on someone who wants to play this year. Deal would have been good for a bag of pucks. Great news. It’s Tuukka time.

    • odj810 - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      signing someone such as Arnott to fill the 3rd line role?/give depth

    • rhodefan - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Two U’s
      Two K’s
      Two Points

      Tuukka Time!!

  5. ThatGuy - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    How awesome would it be if he decided to report just to mess with the everyone.

  6. lordfletcher - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    wait, wait….what. They got a “conditional” 2nd round pick for him? They traded a 2nd round pick for a guy who would never play for them, just to hit the cap floor??? I can’t be reading this correctly can I?

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes the Bruins will only receive the pick if Thomas reports to the Isles, or if they trade his rights.

      • lordfletcher - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        make MUCH more sense now…


      • lordfletcher - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Upon further review…

        I clearly missed this “TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes the Bruins will only receive the pick if Thomas reports to the Isles, or if they trade his rights.”

        Ugh… sorry for wasing your time, but thanks for the reply nonetheless

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      They only get it if he plays for the Islanders, which will never happen.

      • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Don’t be so sure. No one thought Nabby would play for the Isles.

      • islesjb - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        this is different from Nabby. They acquired Nabakov because they actually wanted to use him in net. They acquired Thomas because his cap hit gives them flexibility with the cap floor. They can now trade/move players without having to worry about being under because of Thomas’s cap hit

      • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:08 PM

        Do you doubt that if Tim decided to report that he would get used? They are the same in that no one thought Nabby would play for the Isles either. We’ll see.

      • islesjb - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Possibly but I think they did this with the idea that he won’t want to play. I personally would be pissed because I don’t think it would be worth the 2nd round pick

  7. cshearing - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    I am confused. I thought since he was on the suspended list, his salary did not count against the cap? Is this a new CBA thing, or was it always like this?

    • soj83 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      his salary counts against the cap because he is over 35. it would count if he retired, went to the minors, was released or sat out (like he did). only way to remove the hit, besides trade, was LTIR, but you can’t falsely put someone on that.

  8. mclovinhockey - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Hey bruins, here’s a 2nd round pick so we can pay a player not to pay….

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      But the Bruins aren’t gonna actually get the pick. Unless another team needs to add salary and gets him from the Islanders.

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      They also don’t have to pay anything so long as he does not report

  9. mattmc20 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Perfect example of why this league needs to contract and the Isles should be one of the teams. If you dont care to try you shouldn’t have a team

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      Perfect example of a fan talking out of his butt!

    • islesjb - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      go play in traffic

      • thailer35 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        Gave the thumbs up here because as a Coyotes fan, I totally can appreciate how annoying it is when people start talking about contracting your team.

      • nunan - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Every team has fans who support it…doesn’t mean it makes sense for that team to exist. I never once thought the Isles should be contracted but Phoenix is another story. Same with Columbus.

  10. bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Please STOP reporting Garrioch’s ridiculous rumor as if it had ANY credibility!!!!! IF the Isles move a D at the deadline, it will almost certainly be Visnovsky, not Streiter who is a team leader and mentor and has more points than any Islander D in history except for The Captain. Of course, if Garth gets an unbelievable offer, he will listen–like any good GM. That’s about all there is to that “story”.

  11. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I know the Islanders operate on a very limited budget but anyone think Garth Snow will take a run at Corey Perry this offseason? They want the “financial flexibility” of Thomas’ expiring contract and with the contracting cap they will be one of few teams able to afford a marquee free agent. History says absolutely not, and maybe it’s just me thinking in terms of NHL 13 GM mode, but Perry would be so dangerous on Tavares’s wing. It could make them legitimate contenders and with move to Brooklyn coming up it could drum up major interest in the team. Just a thought.

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Would depend on two things: whether with the Isles playing better and the arena issue resolved Perry would sign and how convinced the Isles are about Nino–who they seem to want for that role.

  12. broadstbully33 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Great move for Boston without the pick. 5 million is money for a great player and now they have another open roster spot. Smart move for Boston

  13. broadstbully33 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    I don’t think the isles would let him play. Figure that second round pick is really 35 36 37 pick. They just needed cap.

    • hockeyflow33 - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      They don’t have a choice, if Thomas decides to report, they have to make a roster move and pay him.

  14. broadstbully33 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Barring any serious injuries of course

  15. spavs412 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    This reminds me of the bankers buying bad debt and betting ppl would default..

  16. asyd1827 - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    And this is why they’re moving to Brooklyn

  17. nunan - Feb 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Great move and incredibly excited to see what the Bs do with all their cap space. Two thoughts though: 1) they have a young, talented team that has been successful. It is only going to get more expensive to keep that together…that’s the natural way of things so I wouldn’t expect the Bs to break the bank on a deal. I do expect a significant move though. 2) Despite all his headlines the past year, he had one of the most historic runs a Bruins goaltender has ever had and his performance in the 2011 playoffs will be remembered. Set aside all the political BS and just appreciate

  18. jimeejohnson - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    We’ll take him! Just hope he joins the team. He is the main reason the Bruins won the recent 2011 Stanley Cup, point being he probably can still play this great game. Politics, shmolitics, when it comes to hockey. After all, being a Republican or Democrat won’t help you skate, shoot the puck, or stickhandle, and in Tim’s case, play outrageous goal. Go Tim!

  19. 8man - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Thanks, Tim. I’ll never forget how you put the Bruins on your back and skated…err…butterflied them to the title. Good luck!

  20. jcmeyer10 - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    I think the Isles are just buying time until their move to Brooklyn. The Nets are clearly better off and even if the Isles benefit half as much they will be in a much better place to try and win.

  21. richc111 - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Funny when Garth Snow got that job I was like wow why did they pick him. Now almost a decade later I think.. why does Garth Snow still have a job? Can anyone tell me why? Does he have some dirt on the owner?

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