Bruins trade Tim Thomas to Islanders

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Bruins trade Tim Thomas to Islanders

The Tim Thomas Era is now finally, officially over for the Boston Bruins.

The 38-year-old goaltender was traded to the New York Islanders on Thursday afternoon for a conditional second-round pick in either 2014 or 2015 that will go back to Boston if Thomas reports for hockey duty on Long Island.

If Thomas continues his current sabbatical from the NHL, then the Bruins will receive nothing in compensation. They will, however, get a welcome 5 million in salary cap relief.

The Isles were one of the few teams flirting with going under the salary-cap floor, and seem to have acquired Thomas for his 5 million cap hit rather than his Vezina Trophy winning goalie skills.

If Thomas does decide to play, then the Bruins have dealt the goalie to one of the least-desirable landing spots in the NHL; the Islanders have been a perpetual Eastern Conference punching bag for years. That would be a bizarre end to a strange last couple of seasons for Thomas, who was on top of the world two years ago while putting up one of the best seasons an NHL goaltender has ever produced.

Thomas set the NHL record for save percentage, captured his second Vezina Trophy, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy en route to Bostons first Stanley Cup championship since 1972. But last season he opted to skip a team event in January at the White House honoring their Cup achievement, and it was a steady downhill slide after that until Thomas announced on Facebook that he was looking to skip the entire 2012-13 NHL season.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli indicated in training camp that Thomas had expressed interest in returning to play the 2013-14 season and has long held an interest in participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics for Team USA. But there were strong indications from the Bruins that Thomas would never again don a Bruins sweater after the way last season ended.

Meanwhile, with Thomas' contract is off the books, if the Bruins move Marc Savard to long-term injured reserve, the team will have 9 million in cap space saved. That kind of available money could make the Bruins big players at the NHL trade deadline in April if the right piece becomes available.

Chiarelli has a 6:15 p.m. conference call scheduled with the media to discuss the deal.

Thursday, Dec. 8: Five most confusing NHL players

Thursday, Dec. 8: Five most confusing NHL players

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the proud ownership of this year’s Christmas tree in the Haggerty household some fifty bucks later. 

*Down Goes Brown provides a list of the five most confusing players in the NHL this season, and none of them are Boston Bruins. Hooray. 

*Bruce Boudreau makes the case to the Hockey News that Devan Dubnyk is more deserving of a Vezina Trophy this season than Carey Price. How about Tuukka Rask being more deserving than either one of them?

*An interesting look at the rough state of Maple Leafs goaltending right around the Tuukka Rask trade to Boston and the Vesa Toskala/Andrew Raycroft years. 

*A fun video piece with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman and Wild coach Bruce Boudreau as they took a tour of Toronto together.

*Speaking of trades, the Philadelphia Flyers hit the jackpot with the Wayne Simmonds trade as he’s been a proud part of the Broad Street Bullies tradition. 

*Gord Miller is an excellent play-by-play man, and he tells some great stories of his life on the road whether it’s the NHL season or the World Junior tournament. 

*While the Boston University hockey team is a star-studded group with an amazing freshman recruiting class, Patrick Curry has been a player that’s quietly had an excellent season. 

*A few minutes with Pittsburgh Penguins D-man Kris Letang about a wide array of subjects including Mike Sullivan and concussion spotters.

*For something completely different: good interview with the former Flash, John Wesley Shipp, about his role in the newer Flash TV series, and the coolness of bringing back Shipp and Mark Hamill as their former characters.