Tim Thomas has been skating for the last two days and appears close to returning to practice for the Florida Panthers. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing will be left up to viewer discretion, as it were. Thomas has been outstanding on some nights, while giving up questionable goals on others. Does he give the team a better chance to win than Jacob Markstrom?
Sometimes. Usually yes. Which makes his return a small positive for the Panthers.
#FlaPanthers Kevin Dineen says Tim Thomas has skated past two days could practice with team on Wednesday
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) October 29, 2013
Florida has only won one of its last seven, and things don’t appear to be trending upward for the squad. At this point, the Panthers may put Thomas out on the ice and just hope he performs well enough to make him trade bait at the deadline. Several teams around the NHL are in need of help between the pipes, so if Thomas can prove that he can stay healthy, he could be a solid No. 2 option for a contender.
Or for the Carolina Hurricanes. Whichever.
That isn’t the Panthers right now though. While there’s a lot to like about the future of this team, Thomas really doesn’t figure into the equation much. He was brought in as a stopgap once Markstrom showed that he still had a lot of learning left to do before he could play as a true No. 1 goalie.
For the most part, Thomas has underwhelmed in that role and has been an injury concern more often than not in Florida.