What now for Thomas?

Tim Thomas got his first NHL opportunity in Boston. He played in Providence for the Bruins’ AHL club. He spent four years in Burlington, Vt., starring for the University of Vermont. He makes his year-round home north of Boston.

The native of Flint, Mich., considers himself a New Englander. But that status may be in doubt, considering the changing of the guard that took place this season.

Penguins not interested in trading Malkin

Evgeni Malkin
will play for the Penguins next season.

Two sources told the Tribune-Review that Malkin , the Penguins’ No. 2 center and co-highest paid player, will not be traded during the offseason.

The topic of trading Malkin has become a hot-button issue on the local talk-show circuit in the days after the Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the second round by the Montreal Canadiens.

Thrashers talk contract extension with Kubina and Afinogenov… Armstrong, not so

According to Kevin Allen of USA Today, the Atlanta Thrashers have begun talks with defenseman Pavel Kubina and forward Maxim Afinogenov regarding keeping the two in Thrasherville next season.

Allen also indicates that they have no chance of re-signing forward Colby Armstrong .

Time is right for Habs to give Price a shot

Sometimes digging out of a hole in a playoff series is about finding a way to break the pattern. Sometimes that takes something bold and unexpected.

Bold and unexpected, it’s fair to say, does not characterize Jacques Martin’s coaching style. Maybe that’s a contributing factor in his sub-.500 playoff record as an NHL coach.

Wild free-agent thoughts

Fletcher talked about the team’s current unrestricted free agents (Boogaard , Nolan , Scott , Ebbett, Hnidy , Earl ). He said he’s had conversations with a few but indicated that they’ll likely reach July 1. Usually this late, it always goes to July 1. And usually if it gets to July 1, players leave.