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Panthers trade Tim Thomas to Dallas

Mar 5, 2014, 2:26 PM EDT

Turns out a Tim Thomas-Roberto Luongo goalie tandem was too good to be true. The Florida Panthers have traded Thomas to Dallas, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Thomas has had an up-and-down season since returning to the NHL. The 39-year-old leaves the Panthers with a 16-20-3 record and .909 save percentage.

In Dallas, Thomas will battle Kari Lehtonen for the starting role. Lehtonen has had ups and downs of his own this season. (In November, we wrote a post calling him the most underrated goalie in the NHL. At the time, his save percentage was .932, which has since fallen to .916, possibly because we totally jinxed him.)

That being said, Lehtonen’s job is likely still his to lose. The Stars are in a desperate fight to make the playoffs, and the difference between a capable and no-so-capable backup could be the difference between making and missing. The reported return for Thomas is Dan Ellis, who’s signed through next season for a cap hit of $900,000.

Thomas, 39, is a pending unrestricted free agent.

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