Former Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is thinking about making a return to the NHL after spending the 2012-13 season on the sidelines as a suspended player, his agent confirmed to NHL.com Monday night.
ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported earlier Monday that Thomas' agent, Bill Zito, said the goalie has asked him to explore options for next season. Zito later confirmed the report to NHL.com via email.
Thomas, 39, is technically a member of the New York Islanders, who acquired him in a trade from the Bruins on Feb. 2. The Islanders have the right to toll Thomas' contract into the 2013-14 season, but the team has given no indication it plans to do so, which would make Thomas an unrestricted free agent at noon ET on Friday.
Other goalies expected to become unrestricted free agents Friday include Evgeni Nabokov, Ilya Bryzgalov, Ray Emery, Nikolai Khabibulin, Jose Theodore and Chris Mason.
Thomas sat out the 2012-13 season, the final under a four-year, $20 million contract. He was due to make $3 million but was suspended by the Bruins for not reporting to training camp then was traded to the Islanders. The trade gave the Bruins some salary-cap relief and sent Thomas' $5 million cap value to New York, which used it to stay above the salary-cap floor.
Thomas won the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy with the Bruins in 2011 and played the following season, making headlines when he chose not to attend Boston's championship ceremony at the White House with President Obama because of his political beliefs.
Thomas has a career 2.48 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 378 regular-season appearances. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2009 and 2011.