Thomas done in Boston

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is considering taking a year off from hockey, saying he's fatigued and...

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is considering taking a year off from hockey, saying he's fatigued and wants to spend time with his family. (ADAM HUNGER/Reuters file photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:10 PM ET

OTTAWA - First, Tim Thomas refused to go to the White House with his Boston Bruins teammates last January to meet President Barack Obama.

Now, he’s threatening to not show up at all next season.

Rest assured, the next time Thomas stops a puck, if he ever does again in the NHL, it won’t be for the Bruins because his days in Beantown are numbered.

Less than a year removed from lifting the Stanley Cup and being the named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the playoffs last June, the 38-year-old goaltender has informed the Bruins he may take next year off.

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed Friday he was informed by Thomas’ agent Bill Zito in mid-May his client may not play next season, claiming Thomas is fatigued and wants to spend more time with his family.

Chiarelli admitted in a conference call with reporters he was “surprised” by the decision from Thomas.

“He’s seriously considering taking the year off,” said Chiarelli, who will suspend Thomas if he doesn’t report. “The reasons why, I’m not exactly sure, but he did give some reasons regarding the family, which I respect.

“As of right now, I’m operating on the premise that there’s a strong possibility that he’ll be taking the year off. We’ll have to go about our business without Tim Thomas.”

Even if Thomas does decide to back down from his decision to spend time with wife Melissa and the couple’s three children at his new home in Colorado, there’s no chance he’ll return to the Bruins next season.

Chiarelli said the plan is to go with the tandem of Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin next season. The “no trade” clause in the final season of the four-year, $20 million deal Thomas signed with the club expires on July 1.

Though Chiarelli said Thomas never asked for a contract extension in his discussion with the Bruins, it sure looks like this may be nothing more than a power play by the veteran goalie to control his destiny.

At this juncture, the only hope for the Bruins is to perhaps give another team permission to try to convince Thomas to play and then a trade could be worked out with the team that wants to acquire him.

Right now, Thomas has zero value to the Bruins on the marketplace, but there are a lot of teams looking for goaltenders — including Tampa, Toronto, Chicago and Columbus, to name a few.

If Thomas doesn’t play, the Bruins will be forced to swallow his $5 million cap hit, but Chiarelli said he would study the option of dealing his rights to a team that is trying to get to the salary cap floor.

“I’m disappointed,” Chiarelli said. “These things happen. You’ve got to roll with them. You’ve got to deal with them. When someone talks about their family, you have to respect that. You’ve got to deal with it. We’re not too disabled on the cap side. But, sure, that’s the strength of our team.”

Chiarelli said if Thomas does sit out, then the Bruins would have a decision to make: They can either let the year on the contract simply expire or retain his rights to force him to owe the club another year.

Thomas intends to suit up for the United States at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia which means his NHL career isn’t over.

“Tim has pretty much said that he’s not (going to play) but people change their minds also,” Chiarelli said.


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