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Report: Thomas likely to sign once Panthers sale is final

Sep 25, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT

timthomasgetty Getty Images

It’s possible that two landmark moments might happen for the Florida Panthers in the same week, if not day or two, as TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Tim Thomas is expected to sign with the team once the franchise sale is complete.

Word circulated on Tuesday that the ownership change might be announced on Friday, yet Dreger states that it’s possible that the 39-year-old might make his preseason debut on Thursday.

To put it mildly, his work should be fascinating to watch in 2013-14.

Certainly, there are big reasons to believe things won’t go well. He no longer plays in Boston, which means no more Zdeno Chara cleaning things up; as offensively gifted as Brian Campbell is, Florida doesn’t employ a defenseman in Chara’s zip code. Just as importantly, the unorthodox goalie missed a full season of NHL action, so it wouldn’t be shocking if he’s rusty.

Still, it would be foolish to assume that Thomas can’t overcome long odds. He’s done so just about his entire career.

Not many award-winning goalies get their first real shots at NHL reps in their early 30’s, yet Thomas has two Vezina Trophies, one Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe to his name.

Even his “bad” years have been pretty good, aside from a mediocre 2006-07 season (.905 save percentage, 30-29-4 record).

This Panthers team isn’t going to scare many people on paper, but Thomas ranks among the handful of goalies who might be able to make them pesky again.

  1. jhuck92 - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Pick him up in the later rounds of your fantasy leagues, people. He’s gonna be a steal

  2. stakex - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    If Thomas can play anywhere close to the way he did before he retreated to his bunker, the Panthers can be a tough team to play this year. I don’t know if they have much of a chance to make the playoffs no matter how good he plays… but they could certainly steal games they shouldn’t be able to if he’s on.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    I don’t know if a goalie coach would condone how he plays but when he’s on he’s one of the best. I often joke about his recent antics but wish him all the best.

  4. LampyB - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    I dont think he cares if you joke about his antics, or whether you wish him the best. He’s one of the best goalies in the world buddy.

  5. spitfisher - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    He, as well as Rask play very good with a particular 7 footer in front of him…..

  6. alexbaymac - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Don’t sell Campbell short…I’d take his next 6 to 8 years over Chara’s!

  7. amityvillefun - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    And Chara will take his Cup and Norris trophy and smile. Good luck to Campbell and all, but Chara is still the man. To be the man, you gotta beat the man.

    Best of luck to Tim Thomas. He is a very entertaining athlete to watch in net and I’m very grateful for his time in Boston. I actually wish the Bruins could have taken him back and had the Thomas/Rask tandem once again.

  8. joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    I’m one of those who wrote here that I doubted his ability to return to form, and I maintain that he’s not ready yet. He’ll need to play 15 – 20 games before we can assess his game. However, I don’t believe this guy will steal many games. He may, however, keep his team in the game, but ultimately it comes down to team offense and defense. Stealing games when in Boston was easier because he had the supporting cast. Something he doesn’t have in Florida.

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