Tim Thomas was the talk of many trade rumors (at least at the local coffee shop, on the T or at your local barbershop), but his tenure in Boston is secure — at least for now.
But how about we turn back the hands of time, and consider what would've happened in the B's had dealt Thomas a few months earlier?
Now, I don’t want to confuse my hypothetical trade speculation with a dislike of Timmy — I think he is a fantastic goaltender who personifies hard work and perseverance. However, if Thomas was dangled out there in September or October as trade bait, he may have garnered more interest as the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.
Early in the season, there was little to no evidence that Thomas’ numbers would take such a drastic dip. But as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. I even proposed the possibility to NESN insider James Murphy, and he said that the B’s were completely dedicated to retaining No. 30’s services. As the season progressed, though, Thomas began to look his age rather than like 2008-09’s most outstanding goalie, and it was Tuukka Rask (or the “Rask Behind the Mask,” as I like to call him) who really stepped up and tossed his youth aside to play like an everyday NHL goaltender.
As a result, my question tiptoed around the idea of trading Thomas — assuming that Rask was ready to assume full-time duty between the pipes — in order to obtain a scorer who would not only replace Phil Kessel, but would also possibly fill the void in the clubhouse. Not to say that Phil the Thrill was a great clubhouse guy, but if the B's brought in a player who could have made a seamless transition, we may not have reported on that 10-game losing streak before the Olympic break.
What's done is done, and the Bruins have all the building blocks necessary for future success — a boatload of draft picks means a few long seasons ahead for the rest of the Eastern Conference. And let's not forget about the additions of Dennis Seidenberg and Matthew Bartkowski. Although Bartkowski is still tearing up the college ranks, Seidenberg’s offensive style of defense should help the Black and Gold immediately.
So there are less than 20 games to go until the playoffs begin, and that means one thing: There are less than 20 games to prepare for the Beard-A-Thon! Go Bruins!