Stars acquire Tim Thomas from Panthers

Just one night after now former backup goaltender Dan Ellis delivered a less than stellar performance for the Dallas Stars in a 4-2 loss at the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Stars made a move before the NHL Trade Deadline, acquiring fellow netminder Tim Thomas from the Florida Panthers in a straight-up swap for Ellis.

"He was a guy we attempted to sign in the summer, at least we were talking about him," Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a Wednesday afternoon conference call with local media. "Our mindset was it was a chance to pick up a Stanley Cup champion goalie, who has been to the playoffs, been through the pressure. With the condensed schedule, we have a lot of back-to-backs coming up. We control our own destiny in the standings now. The goaltending position is such an important position, that this was a chance to solidify it."

Thomas, 39, will No. 30 for the Stars. The veteran netminder who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Boston as the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup in 2011, had started 40 games for the Panthers this season and was 16-20-3 with a 2.87 goals-against-average and a .903 save percentage.

He was teammates with current Stars centers Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin in Boston.

Thomas started in net against Dallas back on Oct. 3, 2013 in the season opener for both the Stars and Panthers at American Airlines Center. He turned away 25 of 27 shots as Florida beat Dallas, 4-2 to start the season.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff matches Nill’s enthusiasm in being able to bring in a seasoned veteran like Thomas to back up current No. 1 goaltender Kari Lehtonen down the stretch as Dallas looks to end a five-year playoff drought.

"We’ll handle them on a game-to-game basis based on the schedule and making sure that we’re not overplaying (Lehtonen)," Ruff said. "At the same time, I want to give Tim (Thomas) his opportunity to play. If he plays well, he’ll be rewarded for his play. I think he can play a vital piece for us. We are going to do what it takes to win, and I think that will involve both goaltenders."

Thomas will be in Dallas in time for morning skate on Thursday as the Stars begin a three-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks. Thomas will meet the media for the first time as a Dallas Star after that skate.