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.

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.

*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.

*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.

*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.  

*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.

*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.

*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.