Tim Thomas "Intrigued" By Flyers Young Team; Is He A Fit?
A certain controversial goaltender is looking to return to hockey in the NHL, and with a vacancy in Philadelphia after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers have been linked a few times the past couple days.
Sources close to free agent goaltender Tim Thomas state that the 39-year-old netminder is "intrigued" by the young nucleolus of the Flyers, but is unsure of whether or not he is a fit for the Flyers. Thomas' agent, Bill Zito, made clear that he isn't entirely sure where Thomas is leaning in regards to his future destination.
And a source in Philly said the Orange and Black remain “uncertain” as well.
Zito spoke to CSNPhilly.com about Thomas' availability and interest in Philadelphia.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with Tim,” Zito told CSNPhilly.com. “I’ll find out tomorrow who has interest in Timmy and take it from there.
“All he told me was to check and see what – if any – his options may be. We are allowed to shop free agents tomorrow, so I’ll have a better idea of who has interest at that time.”
The Flyers have only one NHL goaltender in Steve Mason, and adding a netminder that's a proven winner is definitely on their list of criteria.
But with Thomas comes controversy.
Last season, Thomas sat out the whole year while the Bruins moved on with Tuukka Rask, falling two games short of a Stanley Cup victory. Thomas' rights were traded to the New York Islanders during the 2013 season where he didn't play a single minute for the playoff-bound Islanders.
Prior to that, the American-born Thomas refused to take a trip to the White House with the rest of his teammates during the 2012 season due to his extreme Right Wing views and lack of support for President Obama.
All this aside, after what Flyers fans went through the last season with Bryzgalov, their only concern is the performance on the ice rather than what comes out of his mouth. Many felt Bryzgalov was a funny character and welcomed the personality, but the routine grew stale when his play was equally stale.
Thomas is a proven winner, winning the Vezina Award twice (2009 and 2011) as well as a Cup in 2011 at the age of 37. That season, he went 35-11-9 with a 2.00 GAA and .938 save percentage.
The following season, Thomas' last, he was equally as good, going 35-19-1 with a 2.36 GAA and .920 save percentage.
If the Flyers can sign him to a 1-2-year deal worth less than $3 million, he would be a good option for the short term while they see what value Steve Mason holds as well as the development of top goaltending prospect Anthony Stolarz.
But if Thomas' price tag is higher, especially in term of years, the Flyers should pass on the 39-year-old netminder and look for a more economical option on the open market come July 5.