Thomas’ fourth F? Could be farewell to Bruins

Thomas waived his no-trade/Photo by S. Bradley

The 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh is supposed to be focused on the future of the league.

However, one story of a veteran won’t stop moving forward and taking wild and wooly turns. I write, of course, about the travails of Tim Thomas.

In a media meeting this afternoon to discuss tonight’s first round of the draft, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told those assembled that Thomas has waived his no-trade clause, which would have expired July 1 anyway. Still, Thomas is planning to sit out the 2012-13 season to focus on his three “F’s” so there’s no telling if Thomas is actually helping out the Bruins here.

Nonetheless, down the road Chiarelli might be able to find a taker or two for Thomas’ $5 million cap hit that won’t have to be paid to a guy sitting out.

“Well, I mean, I talked about cap floor so, if you look at it, there’s $5 million, which is the cap hit that a team doesn’t have to pay, so yes, I think, on that basis, yes I think there would be interest,” Chiarelli said. “Now the thing is that there’s not a rush to get that yet because you’ve got a 10-percent bump in your cap over the summer and really, there’s no urgency to get it. But if there’s more than one team that’s competing, I’d have to look at it.”

Chiarelli still couldn’t definitively say that Thomas was 100 percent out for the season. So maybe the goaltender could be convinced by the right team. Chiarelli said there have been cap-floor teams and teams interested in Thomas playing asking about the goaltender’s availability.

As for trades in general, Chiarelli didn’t sound like a many ready to play wheeler-dealer tonight.

“It’s pretty much in the background for us; we don’t really have anything significant going on with respect to the trade market right now,” he said. “I think I might have mentioned kind of that second level of market after July 1 that’s probably going to be a little more active than it is now. It’s actually quieted down a little bit in the last couple of days. You know, we’re all brave souls and say we’ve got all these deals and all this stuff and then when it comes time to doing them, everything quiets down and everyone starts focusing on the draft so I think that’s what we’re seeing right now.”

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