Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is going about his job this offseason under the premise that there is a "strong possibility" that Tim Thomas will be taking next season off.
"As of right now I'm operating under the premise that there's a strong possibility that he'll be taking the year off," Chiarelli said in a conference call on Friday. "And we'd have to go about our business without Tim Thomas for the year."
Chiarelli has known about Thomas' desire to sit out for almost a month.
"Tim came to me toward the beginning, middle of May through his agent and said he's seriously considering taking the year off," Chiarelli said. "I think the reasons why, I'm not exactly sure. But he did give some reasons, giving the family, which I obviously respect, spending more time with his family."
Here's how Chiarelli broke down the logistics of what would happen if Thomas were to sit out:
"If he wasn't playing I'd have to suspend him. His cap number would still be on the cap. We would have relief through Marc Savard being on the cap so it would be almost a wash that way. But Thomas would still be on the cap, and that's the way we would proceed through the year."
Though facing the prospect of going without their Vezina-winning goalie, Chiarelli seems to be taking the news in stride.
"These things come up, these things happen," he said. "This is what's happening with Tim right now. We need to deal with it, and we will."
I almost have to operate under the premise that he isn't coming back. I've had some discussions with tim, he's told me he wants to play in the olympics the following year. I'll have some more dis with him later on. two very cap goalies in tuuka and khudobin and i'd be more than satisfied if that's who we have to go with.