Bruins trade Tim Thomas to Islanders


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.

Talking Points: Bruins get win in return from bye week

Talking Points: Bruins get win in return from bye week

Joe Haggerty hands out his superlatives following the Boston Bruins victory over the San Jose Sharks

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Marchand's OT goal helps Bruins beat Sharks, 2-1


Marchand's OT goal helps Bruins beat Sharks, 2-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Brad Marchand scored on a breakaway with 2:24 left in overtime and the Boston Bruins picked up where they left off before their six-day bye with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Ryan Spooner also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 4-0 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves.

Patrick Marleau scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who have lost six of eight games heading into their bye week. Four of those losses came in overtime and another in a shootout, giving San Jose nine points during the span. Martin Jones made 25 saves.

The winning play started on a faceoff in the Bruins' defensive zone. Patrice Bergeron won the faceoff back to Torey Krug, who sent a stretch pass up ice that Marchand retrieved behind the Sharks defense. He skated in all alone on Jones and beat him for his 25th goal of the season.

While teams coming out of the bye week have struggled this season with a 3-12-4 record coming into Sunday, the Bruins opened the game with much more energy than the Sharks, who were playing for the second straight night after a win in Arizona on Saturday.

Frank Vatrano had a good chance early that Jones stopped but the third line cashed in later in the opening period when Jimmy Hayes took a pass from Adam McQuaid at the point and shot it wide. Spooner recovered the puck off the back boards and tucked it into the open net for the first goal of the game.

The Sharks found their legs in the second period and nearly tied it when Brent Burns hit the post before finally getting the equalizer thanks to a fortunate bounce during 4-on-4 play. Burns' point shot was blocked by Krug and the puck went straight to Marleau, who shot it into the open net for his 21st goal of the season late in the second.