Feb 4, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT
All signs point to Tim Thomas extending his NHL comeback beyond this season — the question now is, where?
Sounds like Florida, the team that gave him his comeback shot, is in the mix.
“I’m certainly willing to entertain the idea,” Thomas said about returning to the Panthers next season, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I haven’t talked to the club about that.”
Thomas, 39, should be a pretty interesting figure over the next few weeks. His name will likely pop up as the Mar. 5 trade deadline draws near — a pending UFA, Thomas could be a nice pickup for any team looking to solidify its goaltending depth for the playoffs.
While Panthers GM Dale Tallon has no intention of trading his No. 1 goalie, he did admit it would be “a different story” if Thomas asked for a trade.
And that’s where things could get interesting.
Thomas is admittedly disappointed with Florida’s on-ice results this season. He acknowledged it’s a young team going through some growing pains, and he might not be willing to stick around for the learning process.
“I was hoping by this time to be seeing more team success,” he explained. That’s been a little bit difficult. Having said that, it’s a process. I knew coming into it where the team was last year.
“I bought into this process, and what we’re trying to do is turn it around.”
Thomas carries a $2.5 million cap hit with a no-movement clause, so he can essentially decide his fate for this season.
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