BostonBruins.com – Today, goaltender Tim Thomas seemed set to remain away from NHL ice next season when he wrote via Facebook:
|It appears that Thomas will yield to Rask next season
At the age of 38, I believe it is time to put my time and energies into those areas and relationships that I have neglected. That is why at this time I feel the most important thing I can do in my life is to reconnect with the three F's.
Friends, Family, and Faith.
This is what I plan on doing over the course of the next year.
Sunday’s post by Thomas followed Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli’s late Friday confirmation of media reports last week that predicted that the Bruins all-star goalie would step away from the game next season.
“Tim came to me…through his agent and said that he’s seriously considering taking the year off,” said Chiarelli during a conference call originally set to discuss the signing of forwards Dan Paille and Chris Bourque to contract extensions.
“As of now, I am operating under the premise that there’s a strong possibility that he’ll be taking a year off and we’d have to go about our business without Tim Thomas.”
It now appears that statement is no longer a premise and the B’s will soon rely on the expertise of Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin; a scenario that doesn’t appear to scare Chiarelli.
“We’ve got two very capable goalies in Tuukka and Khudobin,” said the GM. “I’d be more than satisfied if that’s who we have to go with.”
Beyond Khudobin and Rask, the B’s have several other promising netminders in the system, including the Providence Bruins Michael Hutchinson, and recent signees Niklas Svedberg and Adam Morrison, to vie for icetime with both the AHL and NHL Bruins.
“Svedberg is a goalie who is 23. He played for Brynas [IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League] and they won the championship,” said Chiarelli when asked how the B’s pipeline between the pipes looked going into 2012-13. “He’s a real good prospect.
“You’ve got three gold goalies down there between [Michael] Hutchinson, Svedberg, and Morrison that are going to be battling.
“Svedberg – I was pretty happy to sign him, as I was with Adam Morrison. But Svedberg’s a little bit older and accomplished a little bit more. They’re all big bodies, which is nice to have in a goaltending pipeline.” he said.
And right now it looks as if it will be that goaltending corps that will look to continue to stymie opposing offenses next October.
“These things happen and you have to roll with them and you have to deal with them,” said Chiarelli. “I don’t think we’re too disabled, if any, on the cap side. Sure, that was a strength of our team and this happens as years progress.
“Players take over certain roles, and that’s what would happen here.”