Tim Thomas has been a help to the Florida Panthers. His experience has kept the Panthers in more games than they really should have. However, there could be a market out there for him which means the Panthers might have to look into the possibility of trading him.
Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com says he has been hearing that the Pittsburgh Penguins have the most interest. If that’s true, they are looking for a veteran to back up Marc-Andre Fleury since Tomas Vokoun is out. Pittsburgh could also give the Panthers a good return for him.
However, the Panthers would also like to keep Thomas in the fold. To that point, Eklund notes that the Panthers could move Thomas at the deadline and then bring him back in free agency.
That is probably the best option for the Panthers. They don’t view Jakob Markstrom as being ready for the starter’s role, but trading Thomas at the deadline would allow them to bring in some assets.
The Panthers are building a team through youth and they like to bring up their young players as soon as possible. A team that is so young is often liable to defensive mistakes. Thomas has given them the chance to be like that with a little more confidence. However, that has not kept the Panthers from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
Eklund also notes that if any team were to lose a goaltender in the time between now and the March 5 Trade Deadline, the market for Thomas will greatly expand. That would be really good for the Panthers.