Chiarelli 'not inclined' to trade Thomas


Chiarelli 'not inclined' to trade Thomas

While the speculation exists that the Bruins organization or goaltender Tim Thomas or perhaps both might be eyeing a parting of the ways via a deal this summer, Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli said the team hasnt crossed that bridge yet.

The 38-year-old Thomas is entering the final year of his contract with the Bruins, and the Bs goaltender was good-but-not-great during a seven-game series loss to the Washington Capitals.

Thomas finished 11th in save percentage among playoff goalies after putting together a pedestrian .922 save percentage during the regular season, and he coughed it up in Game 5 at TD Garden with a couple of soft goals surrendered in the third period.

With two young goaltenders in the Bs pipeline in Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin and Thomas experiencing low moments on and off the ice during the regular season, Chiarelli said hes satisfied with the status quo from his goalies. Thomas no-trade rights are gone as of July 1 and his contract could be attractive now to a team starved for goaltending, but thats not a bridge hes crossed.

I view it the same way I saw it going into the last summer: the biggest difference being Tuukka Rask obviously didnt play towards the end because of his injury. Theres no uncertainty there with regards to Rask being back and healthy, said Chiarelli. I know Ive seen speculation about moving a goalie and all that stuff, but certainly Im not inclined to do that. Tim didnt have statistically the year he had before, but I thought he had a very good year. We have, if not the best, one of the top three goalie tandems in the league.

Thomas wouldnt come right out and clearly say whether he definitely wanted to stay in Boston or go elsewhere, and simply said he never thinks about it in those terms. He was asked about playing the rest of his days as a Boston Bruins and retiring as a member of the organization and his answer wasnt an unqualified yes.

Its so early why even get into that? said Thomas. Who knows how long Ill playor not? Well cross that bridge when I get there.

He also said he wouldnt change anything he did either on or off the ice during the regular season, and that includes skipping out on the White House visit back in January.

I did the best I could. On and off the ice I tried to do what I felt was right. I tried to prepare myself as much as possible to do the best job I could do on the ice, said Thomas. Thats obviously the most important thing as a hockey player.

Thomas for his part clarified his wethey statements after Game 7 by saying he was using the word they to make sure his teammates were getting credit without him involving himself in the complimentary statements.

Its because Im trying to give them credit without giving credit to myself. They deserve a huge amount of credit. Dont read too much in the theyus thing, please. What Im trying to say is that this is a special group of guys in here. Whether we won the Cup last year or whether we failed this time. Its a special group of guys that bodes well for the future of the Boston Bruins.

How much longer will Thomas be a member of that special group? It could be a year, it could be longer than that or he could have played his final game as a member of the Black and Gold as one of their best goaltenders in a long history of greats.

The summer should be full of answers for both Thomas and the organization after a playoff run that never lived up to anybodys expectations.

Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team


Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while saying RIP Vine but not really feeling it since it’s a rabbit hole I never really delved down into. 

*Down Goes Brown celebrates the “NHL’s old guys”, and yes, that means a gratuitous shout out to Zdeno Chara as the top defenseman on the All-Graybeard squad. 

*Hampus Lindholm has signed a long term deal with the Anaheim Ducks, so now that deal leaves everybody to wonder who is leaving the Anaheim roster in the eventual salary cap crunch. It will be interesting to see if this hastens any Cam Fowler trade talk as far as the Bruins are concerned because it looks like they need the help.  

*Pro Hockey Talk has the Oilers off to their best start since the Wayne Gretzky Era and people in Edmonton finally getting to see the hockey they’ve been waiting for over the past few years. 

*In honor of the Halloween season that we’re in, here are a few cool and scary goalie masks with a bit of spooky flair. 

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is confident that his young team is going to rebound after a rough start to the season. 

*Speaking of creative uniforms, it’s a most wonderful time of the year for hockey when they bust out their Oktoberfest sweaters. 

*For something completely different: this matchup of Peanuts and Stranger Things hits all the right notes for fans of both. 


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?

While the good news is that it doesn’t appear that Tuukka Rask is dealing with a knee injury, there are still some significant muscular issues to work with concerning his left leg. 

According to former Bruins defenseman and NHL analyst Aaron Ward on CSN’s Great American Hockey Show podcast, the Bruins franchise goaltender has been dealing with a hamstring issue that’s also become a hamstring and groin issue as he tried to play through in the first week of the season. Rask clearly tweaked something in his left leg opening night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, missed the Saturday night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and then appeared to aggravate the injury in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils. 

According to Ward, it’s hamstring and groin issues for Rask as the Bruins attempt to survive without him while potentially working toward a possible return for the Finnish netminder this weekend vs. the Red Wings. Rask hasn’t skated with the Bruins since finishing out the 2-1 win over the Devils last Thursday night, and tweaking the problematic left leg in the process. 

“What I was told is that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and now it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” said Ward to CSN Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty on the Great American Hockey Show podcast. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off. The crazy part was watching it on video where the shoot came from the left side and went wide, and the next time he injures it shot comes from the same spot, misses it wide and [Rask] is in the exact same position wincing.

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“I think [the Bruins] are smart rather than trying to play a guy that’s 90, 80 or 70 percent, whatever it is, to just get it over with. Endure the short term pain to get the greater gain, and that’s having Rask in there. There’s no greater endorsement to keep him out than seeing the [bad losses without him] because you need a healthy Tuukka to let the rest of the team settle.”

It’s been disastrous without Rask, of course, as the Bruins have allowed 11 goals in back-to-back losses to the Wild and Rangers with rookies Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre between the pipes, and Anton Khudobin out for three weeks while sporting a cast on his right hand in the last B’s game at TD Garden. 

Meanwhile, Rask (3-0-0, 1.67 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage) is trying to heal and time it perfectly so he returns once he’s past the danger of potentially blowing out the muscles in his left leg and making the situation even worse than it already might be. 

Ward also discusses his relationship with "Toucher & Rich" and the "Cuts for a Cause" charitable event that he helped start.