According to reports, and now the New York Islanders themselves, the Boston Bruins have traded goaltender Tim Thomas to the Islanders. Thomas, who was the 2011 Conn Smythe winner when Boston won the Stanley Cup, had expressed his desire to not play in Boston and had not played this season.
Thomas was set to make $3 million in this season but his cap hit was $5 million. Rumor has it the Islanders made the trade to get to their cap floor. They have $17 million in cap room which is one of the most in the league. Combined they now have $11 million committed to goaltenders.
Thomas is an unrestricted free agent after this season. So is Evgeni Nabokov, their current backup. They have Rick DiPietro signed through 2021. The Bruins will receive a conditional 2014 or 2015 second round draft pick.
According to reports, the Islanders had to get over the cap by tomorrow, which is why they made a run for the 38 year old goaltender. This was reported by Arthur Staple saying they needed this deal to get over the cap floor.
Because Thomas is over 35 years old, his cap hit counts even if he does not play, making it a unique situation and one of the reasons the Islanders were happy to take him on. The Bruins will not get the pick unless Thomas plays this season or gets traded and plays somewhere else, according to Mike Giardi. Pierre LeBrun says that Thomas is not expected to play in 2013 despite the trade.
Thomas did not need to approve the trade because his no trade clause expired at the end of last season. The Bruins now have over $7 million in cap space.