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Report: Tim Thomas close to joining Panthers on tryout basis

Sep 16, 2013, 10:02 AM EDT

Tim Thomas AP

After a relatively quiet summer on the Tim Thomas front, it looks like he will be attempting a comeback after all.

The 39-year-old goaltender might join the Florida Panthers today on a professional tryout offer, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. He cautioned that nothing has been finalized, but the team is reportedly working on the last insurance issues.

Thomas would provide the Panthers with a seasoned veteran to either compliment 23-year-old goaltender Jacob Markstrom or perhaps compete for starts with Scott Clemmensen once he returns from a knee injury.

Of course, Thomas decided not to play in 2012-13 and it remains to be seen how badly that will impact him. That risk factor is likely all that kept the two-time Vezina Trophy winner from signing a guaranteed contract over the summer.

As it is, Florida is hedging its bets if it manages to get Thomas under these circumstances. If the year off hasn’t slowed him down though, then he could make a big impact on a young Panthers team that’s fighting to make the playoffs for just the second time in 13 seasons.

  1. joey4id - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    If the year off would not have slowed him down he would have signed a guaranteed contract a long time ago. The whole hockey world knows he is a huge risk, which is why most are staying away.

    • gmanonthird - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Without seeing him play first, how does anybody know if the year off slowed him down. The reason he hasn’t been signed to a guaranteed contract is because nobody really knows what shape he is in.

      He’s reportedly been contacted by numerous teams, so there’s interest in Thomas, but nobody is going to hand out a guaranteed contract to a 39 year old goalie who is a year removed from competitive play. You don’t know what kind of shape he’s in until you see him play.. hence the PTO.

      • joey4id - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Listen! With all the technology and fitness tests available they can easily assess the shape he’s in. What they can’t assess is how much a 39 year old has slowed down after missing a season. Most players start to slow down shortly after their early thirties without missing a full season. So, suffice to say Mr. T has slowed down. How much remains to be seen, and it is a great gamble giving him a contract. Like I’ve written here before, if he is signed he should be compensated on a per game started/won basis. 500k base salary + 50k per start and 20k per win. He can bag 2m just for starting 30 games and bag an extra 20k per win. Not bad for a declining 39 year old goalie.

    • gmanonthird - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Without seeing him play first, how does anybody know if the year off slowed him down? The reason he hasn’t been signed to a guaranteed contract is because nobody really knows what shape he is in.

      He’s reportedly been contacted by numerous teams, so there’s interest in Thomas, but nobody is going to hand out a guaranteed contract to a 39 year old goalie who is a year removed from competitive play. You don’t know what kind of shape he’s in until you see him play.. hence the PTO.

  2. runhigh24 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Tim Thomas is a microcosm of the state of Florida: Old and crazy.

  3. tjvalley - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Last year Thomas took a year off from playing on a team primed to win the cup. Only to comeback this year and “try out” for a team primed to be a top five lottery pick. Nice job Thomas…good way to end your career.

    • hockey412 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      You mean with two Vezinas and millions of dollars in the bank?

      You’re right it’s not the best. But it’s a lot better than most.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 16, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      What a jerk for having priorities other than his job.

  4. terrier92 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Thomas will be fine He is a professional He will do well with Panthers Big mistake to underestimate a competitor like him Guy has had to work for everything he achieved Always grateful for what he did for Bruins Best of luck Tim

  5. canucks30 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    • drewzducks - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      cannots42yearsandcounting…and your point is ?

      • canucks30 - Sep 16, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        Actually, it’s 43 years. But who’s counting?

      • drewzducks - Sep 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and not count 04-05 against you.

  6. skarfacci - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    This guy is a difference maker. They had Rask in Boston and look how it ended. He will make a difference for Florida.

  7. bruinsfan19 - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Good for Timmy T. I hope he comes in and plays lights out for Florida to shut up all the critics. As a bruins can I still love the guy

    • maria716 - Sep 16, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      Absolutely. He brought the Cup back to us after 39 long damn years & was very entertaining along the way.
      Don’t get me wrong it’s Tuukka Time now in Boston, but I really hope he signs in Florida. He’s always been underestimated & criticized & I don’t believe he would be coming back if he didn’t feel he was really capable of competing with the best of them.
      If he does sign remember to cancel any evening plans you might have on November 19th – Panthers vs Canucks – it could be EPIC.

  8. girouxed - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Dudes got 2 Vezina’s and a cup plus hes rich.

    Now he wants to become rich(er)

    .. whats the big deal?

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