‘Rejuvenated’ Thomas to Return As Panther
It took almost the whole off season for Tim Thomas to find a team, but it looks as if he will be making his new home with the Florida Panthers. Was I shocked that it took so long for a team to gain interest? Not really. If I was a general manager I would be hesitant to sign him, even if I needed a goaltender.
With a whole year off at 39 years old, anyone would be skeptical about whether or not Thomas could regain his form from seasons passed. I suppose anything is possible. However, I do not see him being the goaltender he once was with the Bruins.
It is no secret that the Panthers are not the greatest hockey club in the NHL. Thomas was used to playing behind one of the best defensive teams in the league. One that arguably saved his behind quite a few times. The Panthers will not be able to supply that great of a defense for him. This is where we will see Thomas struggle. If he was a technically sound goaltender I would give him a little more credit, but he is not and let’s face it, making those crazy out of position saves will not work for him anymore.
Aside from his actual play, I am not convinced that he is one of the best people to have in you locker room. The season he departed from the Bruins left a bad taste in my mouth. What he did during the season I believe hurt the chemistry of the team. Chemistry in the locker room is just as important as chemistry on the ice. If there is tension it is going to hurt the team as a whole.
Not to mention taking a year off when you still had a year left in your contract was a bit selfish. Way to leave your team hung out to dry. Luckily, the Bruins had a great backup goaltender to take his spot, but if it were any other team he could have left them in a mess.
The advice I can give Thomas for the season is to keep his mouth closed. It is great that you have opinions about things that you are passionate about, but does it need to be publicized? No. What are the two worst things to bring up in a conversation? Politics and religion. What does Thomas always rant about? Politics and religion. Keep it out of the locker room, and off the internet, and maybe your chemistry with your team will survive.
Also, being a decent goaltender would be good advice. I know, I know, the man has won two Vezinas and a Stanley Cup (well his team won the Cup, but I know fans out there would argue he won the Cup which is just ridiculous). But I am telling you now if he plays out of position as much as he did with the Bruins he is going to get lit up every game.
I really thought the season was going to start with no team signing Thomas. It almost did, and I wish it had. At least he would have gotten the hint that teams do not respect a player who think they can just waltz back into the NHL after the tidal wave they left behind. But I guess the Panthers were desperate enough.