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Dineen says ‘quick healer’ Thomas won’t be out long-term

Oct 24, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

TimThomas Getty Images

Tim Thomas‘ latest injury isn’t cause for major concern.

That was the word out of Florida on Thursday as Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen said the club doesn’t expect Thomas, 39, to miss much time with his second lower-body injury of the year.

“We’re confident that he’s not going to be [out] long-term. He’s a quick healer,” Dineen told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Unfortunate, but the short-term situation is we’ll give [Scott Clemmensen] a call, and goaltending depth is becoming a factor in our season already.”

The Panthers put Thomas on injured reserve Wednesday with a leg injury, roughly one week after he returned from a groin injury that cost him four games.

The former Conn Smythe and Vezina winner suffered his latest setback during a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago on Tuesday, exiting the contest with three minutes remaining in regulation.

Because of Florida’s schedule — the Panthers play Buffalo on Friday, Tampa Bay on Sunday, then have four days off — it’s possible Thomas will only miss a pair of games before getting activated off IR.

After Sunday’s game against the Bolts, Florida doesn’t play again until Friday, Nov. 1 against St. Louis. So there’s a chance Thomas will be activated in time for rematch against the Blues, who whipped Florida 7-0 earlier this season.

On the year, Thomas has posted a 3.11 GAA with a .905 save percentage, but those numbers are skewed thanks to a two-game stretch in which he allowed five goals on 28 shots the blowout loss to St. Louis, then followed it by allowing two goals on five shots against Philly before getting yanked due to the aforementioned groin injury.

Over his last three games, Thomas has actually played quite well — he stopped 37 of 40 in the loss to Boston, 30 of 31 in a shootout win over Minnesota and 25 of 27 against Chicago.

  1. polegojim - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Ok… maybe not ‘long’… but I believe it will be frequent.

    Tough coming out at almost 40… the vacation made it harder.

  2. skr213 - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Feel bad for the team, but Thomas really made his own bed on this one. Selfishness comes back to you!!

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      Huh? What selfishness?

      • skr213 - Oct 24, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        The guy just bails for the last year of his contract, doesn’t finish up for the Bruins, blows off his trade to the Islanders and then thinks he can just come back after a year and play at a high level, thereby basically defrauding the Panthers. That’s called selfishness – “if I can’t be the Bruins #1, then I’ll just sit out a year and blow off a contract THAT I SIGNED.” The guy’s been a clear me-first jerk going all the way back to his self-righteous blow-off of going to the team White House visit after winning the Stanley Cup.

      • hockeyflow33 - Oct 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

        So instead of spending time with his family he should have continued to collect money from the Bruins when his heart wasn’t in it?

        It sounds like you don’t understand how contracts work in hockey. Thomas wasn’t paid last year and the basis for the trade to the Islanders was because it was a dead money contract so they would reach the salary cap floor.

        I also did not know that Thomas forced the Panthers to sign him to a contract.

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