Thomas wins second Vezina, joins elite club

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Thomas wins second Vezina, joins elite club

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
LAS VEGAS Tim Thomas captured the final portion of the hockey triple crown when he was named the Vezina Trophy winner as best goaltender during the NHL Awards ceremony at the Palms Casino Resort on Wednesday night.

With the honor, he becomes only the second goalie in NHL history to win the Vezina Trophy, Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup all in the same season.

The 37-year-old received first-place votes on 17 of the 30 ballots handed in by the NHL general managers, and won convincingly over second-place finisher Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators for his second Vezina in the last three years.

Thomas also joined Philadelphia Flyers legend Bernie Parent as the only goaltender to win the Vezina, Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup in the same year. Parent did it twice in a row, in 1973-74 and 1974-75.

Parent was on Twitter after Thomas won the Vezina with this tweet: Congratulating Tim Thomas. Welcome to the club.

Thomas set the NHL record in save percentage with a .938 mark and then dominated the Stanley Cup playoffs while leading the Bruins past Montreal, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Vancouver en route to the Stanley Cup.

Thomas was happy to talk about all of work he did to rehabilitate himself from hip surgery last summer and how much he owed to his teammates, but his face really brightened up when a reporter mentioned to him that Parent had welcomed him to the elite club of two goaltenders in NHL history.

Thats the stuff that I enjoy hearing more than anything else, said Thomas. Its amazing that Parent did it two years in a row. Were just coming off winning the Cup and its been crazy.

I havent had time to sit down and think about it, but I would love to be able to accomplish something like that. So many things have to fall into place. I bet you Bernie would say the same thing. It takes a unique set of circumstances to win it two years in a row. Thats an amazing accomplishment.

So Thomas has found his motivation to do the whole thing over again next year: Matching Parents feat.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more. 

Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

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Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

The Bruins lost a number of free agents on after the market opened at noontime. None bigger than Loui Eriksson signing a six-year, $36 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks to play with the Sedin Twins.

It’s the exact level of term and salary that Eriksson said he was looking for from the Bruins in contract negotiations around the trade deadline, but the Bruins never really moved from their offer of a four-year deal at comparable money.

The Bruins will miss the 30-goal production and solid all-around, two-way play from Eriksson as he heads to the West Coast, but they also traded in a passive player in Eriksson for an in-your-face, physical leader in David Backes on a five-year deal. 

Backes is much more of a Bruins-style player than Eriksson could have ever hoped to have been. That part of it is a win for a Bruins fan base that wants intensity and physicality from their players.

The Bruins also watched Jonas Gustavsson sign a one-year, $800,000 contract with Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, Brett Connolly sign a one-year deal for $850,000 with the Washington Capitals, Zach Trotman signs a one-year deal for $950,000 and Lee Stempniak ink a two-year, $5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after being a non-contract training camp invite with New Jersey last season.

Sweeney had maintained as late as Thursday that he was still keeping ties with many of Boston’s free agents prior to the noon opening of the free agent market, but clearly that’s changed.

“We’ll continue to have talks and sort of figure out where things may go. We’ve had talks with a number of players to see what they would like to see as the opportunity here or what we see as a fit,” said Sweeney on the Torey Krug conference call on Thursday night. “I haven’t ruled absolutely any of that out; just haven’t found common ground and obviously it gets harder and harder as we go further along in the process.”