Thomas, who is signed through the upcoming shortened season, officially announced in June that he would be taking the year off.
“At the age of 38,” Thomas said on his Facebook page, “I believe it is time to put my time and energies into those areas and relationships that I have neglected. That is why as this time I feel the most important thing I can do in my life is to reconnect with the three F’s.
“Friends, family and faith.”
This, of course, should come as no surprise to the Bruins. While the B’s were hamstrung by Thomas’ decision — Thomas won’t be paid this season, but his $5 million cap hit goes against the club — they’re going to look for ways to overcome that. Designating Marc Savard on long-term injured reserve is an option, and that would save $4 million against the cap.
“I’m operating on the premise that our goalies will be Tuukka [Rask] and Anton [Khudobin],” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in the week following Thomas’ decision. “So yes, it’s had an impact because Tim won’t be playing for us. I’m not going to tell you everything, but there’s a whole host of things that trickle down from that one event. So short answer yes, it has had an impact.”
Thomas’ (former) teammates certainly don’t expect him back. Defenseman Andrew Ference was asked about Thomas on Monday during an appearance on WEEI.
“I don’t think anyone expects Tim back. At all,” he said.