BOSTON – On Monday, from his TD Garden office overlooking the The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, Cam Neely weighed in on the Tim Thomas situation.
The B's president held a similar view of his number one goaltender’s plan to take some time away from the rink as Boston General Manager Peter Chiarelli, whose office is situated just two doors down on the right.
“Well, it certainly puts us in a situation where we probably didn’t think we would be when the season ended,” said Neely. "Having said that, like Pete said, we’ve got to prepare for Tim not playing for us and we’ll move ahead with that. “
Moving ahead means penciling in Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin as the B's backstops this fall, but that's not a prospect that concerns the Bruins' boss.
“You know, Tuukka’s played well for us in the past,” said Neely. “I think Anton’s a guy that we were hoping to see a little bit more of to spell Tim last year, but it didn’t happen that way.
“He played well in Providence for us; he’s played well in the NHL games he has played, although not many."
As a player, Neely was at his best when emotion drove his hard-hitting and high-scoring actions, Now, situated in the B's boardroom, No. 8 employed a calm approach to the situation surrounding his Vezina, Smythe and Stanley Cup-winning goalie.
"We’ll see how it goes," said Neely as he spoke about the B's future between the pipes. "I mean the way we play defensively I think helps our goaltenders.
“And you know, Tuukka’s proven that he can play in this league.”