THIS IS NOT A DRILL I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Tim Thomas is apparently ready to leave the bunker and resume his NHL career. The former Vezina winner, Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion is expected to announce soon his desire to play the NHL again after one season off to focus on "the three F's: Family, Friends and Faith." Both TSN and ESPN reported Thomas' intentions.
Thomas is a free agent beginning Friday. He's also 39 years old and longevity is not much of a thing to worry about with him. He won't be playing hockey too much longer. We know the Flyers really like Steve Mason and hope that he's able to turn into the Flyers' goaltender of the future. Signing Thomas to take the bulk this season or for two seasons would probably be ideal in their eyes. It'll give Mason a chance to further turn around his NHL career while also solidifying the Flyers' current standing in goal.
We just talked this morning about how thin the goaltending market has become. There are a few trade options (trades require giving something up as well, of course) and it's very slim pickin's on the free agency market. Thomas was a world-class NHL goaltender a year ago and in 2011 when his Bruins won the Cup, he was far-and-away the best goaltender in hockey. He's a phenomenal goaltender, and chances that talent left in one year off are slim.
The big question: What would he cost, and would it be worth it? There aren't many teams still looking for goaltending on the free agent market -- especially not starting goaltending -- so the Flyers probably don't have to fear much of a bidding war. He was paid $5 million per season on his previous contract, and now that he's older and there's more risk coming off of his hiatus, I'd hope that number would go down a bit. What kind of contract length are we talking? I'd be comfortable with a year or two, but given his age, I'm not sure I'd go much higher than that.
What do you think? Would you like to see Tim Thomas resume (and presumably finish) his NHL career in Philadelphia?