Chiarelli admits Thomas' Bruins career might be over

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Chiarelli admits Thomas' Bruins career might be over

Peter Chiarelli wanted to make one thing clear about Tim Thomas.

He never definitively said the 38-year-old Bruins goaltender was sitting out the 2012-13 hockey season, and its clear Thomas never made things so cut-and-dry in the Facebook post read around the hockey world.

Chiarelli did speak with the goaltender in between conversations with Thomas agent Bill Zito and came away with one clear observation: there seem to be no absolutes with the Thomas situation as he walks away in the prime of his career.

I read somewhere the other day that I said it was definitive he wasnt coming back. Nothing is definitive, I guess, said Chiarelli, during a Thursday interview with CSNNE.com. He may change his mind. Im just operating under the assumption hes not coming back. I was really surprised when I first heard. My first reaction was suspicion because Im as much a conspiracy theorist as everybody else. The wheels were turning in my head as a lawyer.

But I talked to Tim and he said Pete, Im just tired. Its time for me to take the year and Im seriously considering it. The time hes telling me in advance certainly helps us out, but hes a goalie maybe in the prime of his career because success came later for him. Anything is possible and Im sure we havent heard the end of it. But I respect his decision that he wants to spend more time with his family and other things.

But the Bruins GM didnt shy away from the question when asked if Thomas might have played his last game as a member of the Boston Bruins. It would be an anticlimactic end to a mythic Bs career that included two Vezina Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Stanley Cup championship and four All-Star appearances, but it might be the end all the same.

I dont know. Youve got a goalie in Tuukka Rask, who is ready or close to ready to be a starter. He has to do it over a period of time to cement it, but weve seen what he can do . . . hes close, said Chiarelli. Timmy and Tuukka are close. Tim has never said this, but he might just be thinking that its Tuukkas time to play.

Ive said Im operating under the assumption hes not back, so we may end up making moves based on him not being back. If thats the case then it might be that hes done with the Bruins. I dont know where that story goes, but its a different wrinkle every other day.

Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

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Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

Joe Haggerty looks at a number of trade possibilities for the Bruins with the NHL deadline little more than a week away

Click here to view the gallery

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while spring training is ramping up in a big way down in Florida.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to wear their great, green, old school St. Pat’s sweaters around St. Patrick’s Day this season.

*Jonathan Quick is on the ice and participating in hockey activity, but isn’t quite ready to return for the Los Angeles Kings.

*This is one of the best things you’ll see today with Vladimir Tarasenko making the 11th birthday celebration for a special little girl.

*The Edmonton Oilers could potentially make a lot of moves at the NHL trade deadline, and unsurprisingly, there is quite the call for them to dump Benoit Pouliot after that bad contract they signed him to a couple of years ago.

*Lyle Richardson is predicting the biggest buyers at the 2017 NHL trade deadline and the Bruins are not among the nine teams listed.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle goes 1-on-1 with Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello a wide range of subjects for the Athletic up in Toronto.

*Tommy Wingels continues to fight for inclusion in hockey even as he’s gone from the San Jose Sharks to the Ottawa Senators this season.

*For something completely different: A perfect pool trick shot video will blow your mind and probably get a few pool tables ruined with people trying to recreate it.