He’s carried the team, but does a trade make more sense than keeping him around?
It might be time for the Bruins to trade Tim Thomas. The guy is playing out of his mind, and based on his past, one might interpret that as a semi-fluke. This isn’t to say Thomas is a bad goalie or going to seriously regress next season, but when a guy has a .941 save percentage it’s generally going to come down by at least 20 points no matter how great he plays. Thus, the next few weeks would be the best time to put his name out on the market, and hope a team such as the Lightning (perhaps for someone like Michel Ouellet??, a 25 year old winger), whose goalies aren’t exactly shutting other teams down, would make a nice deal. With Manny Fernandez and Tuukka Rask as the logical fill-ins for Thomas, the goaltender plan I previously wrote about could be accelerated, with Thomas bringing in a valuable offensive player in order to give the team better balance and a better future with Rask in net and another quality scorer, instead of Thomas leaving after the season or re-upping him, only to have the guy block our best prospect, in Rask.
A team that has been scoring but not stopping the puck is Toronto, but after their previous deal for Andrew Raycroft gave us the goaltending advantage already, I’m not sure how willing they would be to entertain another trade with the Bruins. The Penguins might also be looking for some goaltending help, as well as possibly the Blackhawks and the Thrashers or Flames. These are not by any means rumors I’ve heard, but simply conjecture based on looking at which teams have been scoring but giving up too many goals. No matter what, the Bruins should be looking to improve their depth at the forward position, with left wing and center the prime positions of need. Another interesting possiblity for a trade would be with the hope of clearing cap space for a future run at a key free agent or two.
A nice addition to espn.com would be an NHL trade machine like that of the NBA trade machine, because that would make coming up with possible trades much easier, given the difficulty in knowing whether deals would actually work under the cap.