NEW YORK — Veteran goalie Tim Thomas, who has said he won’t play this season, was traded by the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders on Thursday for a conditional second-round draft choice either next year or in 2015.
Thomas chose to take this season off following the NHL lockout and was suspended by the Bruins after he didn’t report to training camp last month. The 38-year-old goalie is in the final season of a four-year deal that counts for $5 million against the salary cap.
The Islanders have plenty of room to fit Thomas’ salary on their cap, and this deal provides financial flexibility for the Bruins. Boston was up against the upper salary limit of $70.2 million, with Thomas’ salary factored in, and New York is only marginally above the minimum payroll.
NHL teams must be in full compliance of the salary cap by Friday, the 20th day of the league season.
Thomas is unlikely to play for the Islanders this season or in the future. The draft pick conditions are expected to center around whether or not he suits up for New York.
“We have acquired an asset for our organization,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said Thursday night. “This acquisition allows us flexibility with our roster moving forward.”
Thomas, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie, has played in 378 regular-season games — all with the Bruins. He has gone 196-121-45 with a 2.48 goals-against average and 31 shutouts. Thomas ranks fourth on Boston’s career wins list and third in shutouts,
He also has a 29-21 mark in the postseason with a 2.07 GAA and six shutouts. Thomas won the Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
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