Bruins putting Thomas up for trade?
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
The Bruins might be on the verge of trying to deal Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas.
While it would have been unthinkable when Thomas was signed to a four-year, $20-million (all terms US) contract extension last spring, two league executives confirmed to the Sun on Saturday that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has held talks with teams looking for goaltending help.
With the Bruins stuck in a miserable 10-game losing streak following Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Canucks, sources say Chiarelli hasn’t completely dismissed teams that have called about Thomas.
The sticking point with the 35-year-old Thomas, who has only one win in his last nine starts, is he has a no-movement clause in the deal he signed last April.
If Thomas were to waive his clause, his reasonable $5-million cap hit through the 2011-12 season would make him attractive on the trade market.
What isn’t so attractive is Thomas’ lacklustre 13-15-7 record, with a 2.52 GAA to go with a .915 save percentage.
Last season when he won the Vezina, Thomas posted a 36-11-7 record with a 2.10 GAA and a .933 save percentage.
The Blackhawks are likely to add a goalie by the March 3 trade deadline. They’d have to bury goalie Cristobal Huet and his $5.625-million cap hit in the minors to make a Thomas deal work, but there is a sense GM Stan Bowman is willing to do it if it improves Chicago’s chances to winning the Stanley Cup.
With Marty Turco set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Stars could be in the market for Thomas as could the Blues and Blue Jackets, neither of whom have gotten the goaltending they expected this season.
Boston’s asking price would be steep. A goalie like Thomas should be able to fetch a top-six forward, top-four blueliner and a solid backup goalie.
Of course, the Bruins have to decide if goalie Tuukka Rask is ready to take over the No. 1 role, but they can’t afford to struggle much longer.