Tim Thomas Has No Regrets, But Says It Was Hard to Leave Bruins After They ‘Accepted Me as Part of the Family’

Tim ThomasTim Thomas‘ hockey hiatus came to an official close when he took the ice on Tuesday for training camp with the Florida Panthers.

For the first time in his NHL career, Thomas will be suiting up in a sweater that does not have a spoked-B on the chest. While the two-time Vezina Trophy winner’s time in Boston ended in 2012 when his rights were traded to the Islanders, Boston unknowingly played a hand in his return as it was his former team’s Stanley Cup run in 2013 that fueled his comeback.

After playing in 378 career games between the pipes for the B’s, and spending nine years in the organization, the 39-year-old is ready to start over with a new team in a warmer climate. After skating with the Panthers on Tuesday, Thomas revealed that he doesn’t regret choosing to sit out for the entirety of the lockout-shortened season, and he also has no remorse about how his time in Boston came to an end, even if it was difficult to leave the B’s.

“That’s a hard one to answer,” Thomas said when asked if he had regrets about how his tenure in Boston ended. “In the big picture do I regret it? No. I made the right decision for me and I made the right decision for my family. I’m very happy with what’s come out of it in my own personal life.

“Now, is it hard to leave an organization that gave me my opportunity to break into the NHL, and a place in the Northeast, especially Massachusetts that’s really accepted me as part of the family? Yeah, of course it’s hard to do that. Having said all things, it was the best decision to make for me and my family.”

Thomas had nothing but positive comments for the place he called home for a decade, but the goaltender reemphasized that his time in Boston is something that’s in the past, and he’s focused on his time now with Florida and what’s to come with them.

“My time in Boston was great. I was very fortunate to have the type of personal and team success there. Great teammates, great area, the people of that area allowed me to almost be part of their family. This is a totally new start, totally new place and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen in the future here.”