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Report: Thomas 'not likely' to join Blue Jackets

Friday, 09.13.2013 / 11:24 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  / Training Camp 2013 blog

The agent for free agent goaltender Tim Thomas informed the Columbus Dispatch on Friday that his client is "not likely" to join the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We haven't even really discussed it with the Blue Jackets," Markus Lehto, who represents Thomas with ACME World Sports, told the newspaper's Aaron Portzline. "But he does have offers on the table, and there has been interest from clubs. It's just finding the right situation for him."

Thomas, who sat out last season, reportedly is considering an offer to join the Florida Panthers on a professional tryout.

Lehto and Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen have a long relationship. The duo, along with Bill Zito, founded ACME in the 1990s. Kekalainen left the agency when he began his career working for NHL teams, while Zito left the group earlier this summer to accept a job with the Blue Jackets.

Another potential obstacle in Columbus is defending Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. While Thomas has won two Vezinas, as well as a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe Trophy, he's 39 and likely won't want to sit behind a 24-year-old just entering his prime.

"Guys who have the talent and the track record want an opportunity to play, to be a big part of the team," Lehto said. "Thomas is understanding, fully, that there is going to be a competition wherever he goes. He's in great shape and he's ready for that. But you want to know there's going to be an opportunity."

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery