NHL netminder Tim Thomas is one of the more interesting characters in hockey, but it looks like his career might not yet be over. According to CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman, the former Boston Bruins netminder may attempt a comeback next season after deciding to sit out the entirety of the lockout shortened season.
If Thomas does return, the move would immediately affect the New York Islanders as they traded for Thomas’ rights earlier in the season despite the fact it was unlikely he’d play in 2013. New York still owns his rights so if he came back it wouldn’t be a situation where he hit free agency, as he’d have to get permission from the Isles for a formal release if he wanted to find work elsewhere in the NHL.
But Thomas may just avoid the NHL altogether as Friedman said his sources indicated Thomas may want to head over to Europe to play next season, which is not something he hasn’t done before. Although he’s an American player born in Michigan, Thomas had great success in the Finnish League before he made his transition over to the NHL with the Bruins.
At the end of the day, Thomas is 39-years old and the chances that he comes back and is successful in the NHL aren’t very high. He’d likely have a spot on the Isles roster and he could end up starting but returning to Finland to bring his hockey career full circle might be the best option for Thomas next season.