The Boston Bruins have signed goaltender Tim Thomas
to a three-year contract, it was announced today by Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell.
Thomas, 31, played four seasons of college hockey at the University of Vermont where he compiled an 81-43-15 record and 2.70 goals against average with nine shutouts in 140 career college games. He was named an NCAA All-American and ECAC First Team All-Star in both 1994-95 and 1995-96 and earned ECAC Goaltender of the Year honors in 1995-96 as well.
The 5’11”, 181 lb. native of Flint, Michigan was drafted by Quebec as their 11th pick, 217th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft but did not play a game for the Nordiques. He split his first professional season of 1997-98 playing seven games in the ECHL and IHL for both Birmingham and Houston before going to Finland and compiling a 13-4-1 record and league-best 1.62 GAA in 18 regular season games with HIFK Helsinki and going a perfect 9-0 with a 1.52 GAA in nine playoff games that season. He signed with Edmonton as a free agent in June, 1998 and began the 1998-99 season with their AHL affiliate in Hamilton before returning to Finland for the remainder of that season. He played the following three seasons in the IHL (Detroit in 1999-2000) and Europe (Sweden in 2000-01 and Finland in 2001-02).
Thomas was signed as a free agent by Boston in August, 2002 and played the next two seasons in the Bruins organization, with most of his games coming with their AHL affiliate in Providence. He played four games in Boston during two recalls in the 2002-03 season with a 3-1-0 record and 3.00 GAA in those games. He returned to Finland for the 2004-05 season and enjoyed a spectaular season with Jokerit Helsinki as he was named the League’s Most Valuable Player. He led the league in wins (34-13-7 record), goals against average (1.58), games/minutes played (54/3267) and in shutouts, as the 15 he earned were more than any other team’s total.
He signed again as a free agent with Boston on September 14, 2005 and joined the team from Finland during training camp. He was assigned to Providence out of camp this season and had a 15-11-0 record with a 2.26 goals against average in 26 AHL Bruins games when he was recalled to Boston on January 10. He then played in 18 straight Boston games from January 10-March 1, starting 16 straight from January 14-March 1, with an 8-4-4 record in that span. He has faced his first NHL penalty shot this season, stopping Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin on January 26, and earned his first NHL shutout with a 5-0 blanking of the Senators in Ottawa on January 30.
He enters today’s game ranked seventh overall in the NHL with a 2.34 goals against average and tied for first among all league netminders with a .927 save percentage. He has a 9-7-5 record through 23 Boston games this season. His NHL totals to date are a 12-8-5 record with a 2.44 goals against average and one shutout in 27 career Boston games.