Tim Thomas Toronto Trade?

Tim Thomas Trade

Could The Tank be in another uniform by season's end?

This one comes out of the Left Field of Speculation and Irresponsible Rumors but I relay it to you here for two reasons. One, it really got me thinking about the possibilities and Two, when the rumors come flying from a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada, you know it’s going to get a little play.

From Elliote Friedman (via Pension Plan Puppets):

The Maple Leafs say they will take an ugly contract if the rest of the booty is worth it. Philly (a prime candidate) does not have a first-round draft pick. He’s got to get either a first-rounder or a high-end prospect to make sense. You know who’d make sense – and I STRESS I’m guessing here, too – is Tim Thomas, but he’s got a no-trade for the first three years of his contract.

So, yes, this is straight out of Friedman’s head onto the page, obviously. It’s not grounded in any real information from any source close to any team or player. But is it total nonsense? And does it raise some interesting possibilities?

The Bruins need to make a move badly and, unless things take a dramatic turn for the better when Marc Savard, Steve Begin and Byron Bitz return from injury this weekend, the chances are they will. When considering who on the current roster has trade value and could me moved within the constraints of the cap, there are few players outisde the boundaries of those Peter Chiarelli considers the young core of the team and want to hold on to (Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Tukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron). You can’t blame him for not wanting to mortgage the future like that and I can’t help but agree. The young and the talented need to stay.

So who does that really leave to trade that has value to other teams? Forget about Marco Sturm or Michael Ryder. Forget about the old veterans and the marginal players, none of whom would bring anything of impact in return. Forget about anyone on defense. Who does that leave? Blake Wheeler? Random Providence Bruins Guy?

Or Tim Thomas.

Reigning Vezina Trophy Winner. Proven Number One NHL Goalie.

A team with a need at that position, a willingness to take on a big contract and a serious desire to do some dealing and maybe things can happen. Hello Toronto and Crazy Ass Brian Burke who, of course, recently named Tim to Team U.S.A. for the Vancouver Olympics. Certainly he thinks highly of the player. Certainly he has a need at that position as the Leafs goaltending has been fairly miserable all season long and the pressure in Toronto to solidify that spot is surely immense. Kind of like if the Boston Red Sox had a crappy closer. The natives get restless.

So could it happen? Well, the Bruins and everyone around the team seem to think that Tuukka Rask’s time has just about come. His numbers this season are better than Thomas’ and there’s a feel that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the team’s Number One. Which puts The Tank and his fat, four year contract solidly in the way and a lot of the team’s cap number tied up at the goaltending position.

Meanwhile, the B’s and Leafs have already done some significant dealing this season, as we all know. The B’s desperately need help on defense. And on the wing.

Hello Tomas Kaberle and Niklas Hagman.

Throw in Tyler Bozak and you might even get one of your first round picks back.

Okay, maybe that’s crazy talk, who knows. And maybe Toronto isn’t the only possible destination for him, either. A serious look might need to be taken at what other teams could be in play if the team decides this is a possibility. And maybe Thomas decides not to waive that No-Trade and he goes nowhere at all. The whole thing is wildly speculative, as I stipulated right off the top.

Nonetheless fascinating a possibility, however.

What say ye?


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6 Responses to “Tim Thomas Toronto Trade?”

  1. nightfly Says:

    Toronto is too far away. Thomas is already 35, so he may not be a front-line guy anymore by the time the Leafs contend again. They need picks and prospects. I also doubt Thomas would waive his NTC to go to Toronto and get whaled on by pucks.

    The Kings are an interesting choice if they feel like they could make a push from playoffs to contender in the next year or so. Thomas would mentor fellow Olympain Jon Quick (I can’t believe I’m seeing that in print) and upgrade their goaltending; the Kings have a young team and could part with a prospect + pick. There are rumbles that Dean Lombardi has annoyed Jack Johnson, his young defenseman, by flat-out calling him ill-coached, hyper-sensitive, and something of a diva. It may just be possible to pry him free, and Chara would be a terrific mentor.

    The Capitals, if they think that Varlamov isn’t ready, could be another suitor, but it’s a less-than-likely chance. Colorado would probably not short-circuit their rebuild to grab him, especially with Craig Anderson playing so well. St Louis is on the outside looking in and Thomas may not help them enough for a deal to happen. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of strong contending teams who really need him.

  2. Ken Socrates Says:

    Thing is, though, no one in Toronto ever wants to believe they are that far away. So the pressure on Burke remains and you never know what sort of move that might inspire. Question is, what would the next four years of Tim Thomas be worth to the Leafs and is it anything the B’s could use to salvage the season?

    The Kings idea is brilliant and I wish I’d thought of it. The upside on Johnson could be somewhat improved under the tutelage of Chara and Julien’s defensive minded approach. Enough to make him more than a younger, sexier version of Derek Morris? I dunno. Of course, the one off the Kings roster I really like is Drew Doughty. One can dream, eh?

    I think you’re right, the chances of a suitable suitor and Tim waiving that No-Trade are slim but it’s straw grasping time here in Boston and that doesn’t exclude Crazy Straws.

    Welcome to the discussion, by the way, nightfly, and thanks for the comments. The sort of considered replies you’ve offered will certainly enrich the tapestry here. Just goes to show. It’s not all about Ice Girls, Pizza, Beer and Hockeyfights.

    I mean, there’s Buffalo Wings and Vodka, too, right?

  3. Ozzy McGurt Says:

    Ken, my advice is to just have some patience. I’m thinking when the three injured players you mentioned return things will look brighter. The same thing happened to my Avalanche the last couple of years. Regardless of so called “depth”, when key players are sidelined it has big effects on the games. Everyone in Colorado wanted to blame the lagging Avs troubles on goaltending. Granted, Peter Budaj never developed into the number one we had hoped, but with intermittent and sometimes long-term injuries to guys like Sakic, Stastny, Hejduk, Hannan and others, they just couldn’t produce like they should have. My guess is Thomas isn’t going anywhere. He is a solid veteran in the net and the Bruins would be crazy to trade him. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let the team heal naturally rather than running around looking for a Bandaid.

  4. nightfly Says:

    Ken – thanks for the welcome. As an Isles fan, I can say that it’s somewhat about Ice Girls, especially lately. 🙂

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic because the Isles will probably move Biron or Roli by the deadline, and it’s a similar situation. Thomas, being an upgrade over either of those, would command more attention, so straws or not, it’s probably worth it to grasp them! The Kings would probably never go for Biron, for example.

    It’s crazy how much of this depends not on raw talent, but timing and money:

    * The B’s signed Thomas thinking they had a couple of years before Rask would force a decision – Rask got there sooner than expected. Because of the cap, you can’t just high-five yourself and keep both excellent keepers.
    * Thomas is better than Roloson, but the Kings may prefer the lesser, older goalie to the defending Vezina champion! (Roli’s playing great, has a lot of Western Conference experience, and a trip to the Finals on his recent resume. More importantly, he’s cheaper to pay, won’t cost as much in a trade, and won’t block Quick’s future.)
    * Theodore in Washington will probably be coming back this week. Had he been expected to miss a lot of time, a deal for Thomas would have looked better to the Caps; it may still happen (pushing Theodore to backup) but the B’s wouldn’t be able to get as much.

    It looks more and more like Ozzy’s right, and the B’s will be pot stuck here. (It’s also about poker sometimes, right?)

  5. Ken Socrates Says:

    S’true. Peter Chiarelli was pretty candid on his weekly radio visit to 98.5 The Sports Hub this afternoon when the topic of trades came up. Essentially saying that it’s too soon to show your cards and right now the asking price on various talent is “crazy high, just stupid”. I think it’s clear he’s not going to do anything silly and will sit tight until prices drop nearer the deadline. Plus, he’s committed to sitting on that 1st rounder from Toronto (currently the 3rd pick overall in the 2010 draft) because the upcoming draft could be exceptional. Something I want to examine here in a bit is the value of that pick.

    Yeah, it’s easy to get impatient when your team is on this sort of skid and your expectations are so high. I mean, it wasn’t more than a week or so back I was saying how B’s fans wouldn’t know what they had until post-Vancouver when the team (hopefully) is complete and healthy. It’s just that plummet from 5th to 10th that’s made me very nervous.

    Alright, you’ve talked me off the Zakim Bridge. For now.

  6. Thomas On The Block For Real? « Hockey Gone Wild Says:

    […] On The Block For Real? By Ken Socrates This time it looks like more than idle speculation, […]

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