Name: Tim Thomas
Status: Signed through 2012-13 at $5M cap-hit per season (4-years, $20M)
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The Good: Although sub-par and almost pedestrian numbers for Thomas, many NHL goalies around the league would have been thrilled with his five shutouts and respectable goals-against average and save-percentage this season. Although losing his No. 1 role to Tuukka Rask, Thomas seemed a better fit riding the pine and playing (roughly) once every four-to-six games. And once losing the starting job, Thomas took it on the chin like a pro and kept whatever frustrations he had ‘hush-hush’.
The Bad: The highly-criticized four-year $20M contract didn’t seem warranted after this season. Just one year removed from his Vezina Trophy season — where he also captured the William M. Jennings Trophy with Manny Fernandez, and The Sporting News Goaltender of the Year Award — Thomas’ inability to string together great back-to-back games (consecutive wins just four times and one three-game win-streak) saw him losing his No. 1 role to a better goaltender.
Thomas’ five-hole and temper were two enormous obstacles for the 36-year-old to overcome. I stopped counting the five-hole goals-against, and how many times he lost his cool which resulted in either a penalty or goal, after the 2010 Winter Classic.
With a nice hefty contract comes a whole lot of comfort; and after winning a Vezina Trophy comes a bunch of pressure. Both were huge nemesis’ for No. 30 this season. However the 36-year-old may have saved his seat in Boston for one more season after undergoing successful hip surgery. So the trade talks to ship Thomas for may have to wait until late February of 2011.
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