Skip to content

Thomas is a smart gamble for Panthers

Sep 16, 2013, 11:22 AM EST

Boston Bruins Victory Parade Getty Images

If the Florida Panthers do as they’re expected and sign goalie Tim Thomas to a professional tryout, they’ll be adding a two-time Vezina Trophy recipient with a .921 career NHL save percentage who’s only a couple of years removed from leading the Boston Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The question, of course, is if he’s still that same goalie at 39 years old and after taking a year off. Which is why the Panthers were loathe to give him a guaranteed contract.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say he’s still a pretty good goalie. (If he’s not, he just won’t play.) If he’s still a pretty good goalie, Panthers fans should be extremely excited at this news — particularly after the goaltending they saw from their team last season.

In 2013, Florida ranked dead last in the NHL in save percentage, with Jacob Markstrom, Jose Theodore, and Scott Clemmensen combining for an .887 mark in that category. In contrast, the Ottawa Senators finished with a league-high .933 save percentage.

Goaltending matters. A lot. Proof: of the 10 teams with the highest save percentages in 2013, only Columbus and Edmonton missed the playoffs. And of the 10 teams with the lowest save percentages, only the Islanders made the playoffs.

Still not convinced? When the Panthers made the playoffs in 2011-12 (after missing them for 10 straight seasons), their team save percentage was .914, tied for ninth in the NHL.

Again, this isn’t to say Thomas is still the goalie he used to be. We’ll just have to wait and see about that. For the Panthers, though, it’s definitely worth a gamble to find out.

Latest Posts
  1. Robinson confirms he won’t be behind Sharks’ bench next season

    Dec 17, 2014, 3:02 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes

    Will instead serve in a “player development/consultant role,” and will work out of his Florida home.

  2. Henrik Sedin insists the Canucks are still feeling good about themselves

    Dec 17, 2014, 1:31 PM EST

    Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin AP

    Despite four straight losses and the memory of last season.

  3. Berra, buried: Avs to start Pickard for three-games-in-four-nights stretch

    Dec 17, 2014, 1:23 PM EST

    Winnipeg Jets v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    “In every game that he’s played, he hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue.”

  4. Six straight losses have Flames lamenting the turning of the tide

    Dec 17, 2014, 12:25 PM EST

    Karri Ramo AP

    “When we were winning games, it seemed those chances against would not go in.”

  5. Leafs waive Kozun

    Dec 17, 2014, 12:21 PM EST

    Calgary Flames v Toronto Maple Leafs Calgary Flames v Toronto Maple Leafs

    Preseason standout now up for grabs.

  6. Wild need to stop treading water, go on a run

    Dec 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EST

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    “You just have to find a way to be better so it’s not going to be about one call or one bounce.”

  7. Nick Foligno is having himself quite the contract year

    Dec 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EST

    Nick Foligno Nick Foligno

    Which will make things interesting for both him and the Blue Jackets.

  8. Pens testing Fleury, Bortuzzo and Maatta for mumps

    Dec 17, 2014, 11:06 AM EST

    Marc-Andre Fleury, Olli Maatta Marc-Andre Fleury, Olli Maatta

    Beau Bennett still dealing with effects, Sidney Crosby has “passed the infectious period.”

  9. Stars owner Gaglardi purchases AHL Texas affiliate

    Dec 17, 2014, 10:47 AM EST

    Dallas Stars Unveil New Logo and Uniforms Dallas Stars Unveil New Logo and Uniforms

    Says the move “reaffirms our vision of becoming an elite organization, both at the NHL and AHL levels.”

  10. NHL on NBCSN: Bruins vs. Wild on Rivalry Night

    Dec 17, 2014, 10:45 AM EST

    Mikael Granlund, Patrice Bergeron AP

    Both teams are dealing with some adversity right now.

  11. Advantage Raanta: Blackhawks send Darling to AHL

    Dec 17, 2014, 9:47 AM EST

    darling Getty Images

    “He’s done a tremendous job for us,” Joel Quenneville said.

  12. PHT Morning Skate: Another Jack Adams for Ted Nolan?

    Dec 17, 2014, 8:33 AM EST

    Ted Nolan AP

    Wednesday’s collection of links.

  13. ‘Things aren’t coming easy for us,’ says Lucic after Bruins loss

    Dec 17, 2014, 2:02 AM EST

    Milan Lucic Getty Images

    The Florida Panthers surpassed Boston in the East standings.

  14. Video: Tarasenko’s hat trick lifts Blues over Kings

    Dec 17, 2014, 12:39 AM EST

    St Louis Blues v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    And he hits the 20-goal mark. In 31 games.

Featured video

Next steps for the Oilers after Eakins

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (3982)
  2. D. Krejci (2769)
  3. C. Crawford (2587)
  4. J. Toews (2203)
  5. C. Kunitz (2092)
  1. B. Bishop (2060)
  2. O. Palat (1941)
  3. C. Perry (1883)
  4. B. Elliott (1631)
  5. J. Boychuk (1517)