PITTSBURGH Theres a new wrinkle in the Tim Thomas saga with the Boston Bruins.
According to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, the erstwhile Vezina Trophy winning goaltender has waived his no-movement clause and is allowing the Bruins to potentially trade him to anywhere in the NHL prior to July 1.
Chiarelli said that hes had more than a couple of interested teams call him inquiring about Thomas. Some are looking at his 5 million cap hit as an aid to rise up to the new salary cap floor whatever it might be once the CBA is resolved and others were simply attempting to measure Thomas interest in playing for them should they deal for him.
He has given me a complete waiver of his no-trade clause. He gave this to me a week-and-a-half ago. In that sense hes being cooperative if we do decide to trade him, said Chiarelli. It may not make much of a different because the no-trade clause is gone at the end of the month.
Theres a category of teams inquiring him for the cap floor, and then there have been a couple of teams inquiring on him if hes coming back. Im telling Thomas the same things that Ive been telling you guys. If you look at it its a 5 million cap hit that people wont have to pay. Based on that there is interest, but theres no rush to get him. But if theres more than one team interested then Id have to look at that.
Its not a monumental development because Thomas no-movement clause expired on July 1 anyway prior to the final year of his deal, but it continues to reinforce the notion that the goaltender doesnt want to play in Boston anyways should he return to the NHL.
Nearly 23 of NHL teams would be under the salary cap floor if it goes up to the 54 million level as it would under the current CBA fiscal environment, so there are a number of possible landing spots for Thomas ifwhen a deal is made.
The most logical and convenient for Thomas would be his now Colorado home with the Avalanche, but there are plenty of teams always on the lookout for quality goaltending or salary cap relief.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.
“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.
“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”
The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.
“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”
With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.
*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.
*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.
*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.
*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.
*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.
*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.
*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.