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Thomas Set To Join Panthers On Tryout

Two-Time Vezina Trophy winner to practice with Panthers on Tuesday

Monday, 09.16.2013 / 4:46 PM / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Thomas Set To Join Panthers On Tryout


After attempting to reel in competition between the pipes for the first couple of days of training camp, the Panthers and GM Dale Tallon did just that as Tim Thomas accepted a PTO Monday and the veteran net minder is set to join the club for practice on Tuesday at Saveology.com Iceplex.

With goaltender Scott Clemmensen out for the first three weeks of camp due to a minor procedure on his knee, Florida only had 23-year old goaltender Jacob Markstrom in camp with at least some NHL experience. Markstrom has played in 31 games in his first three professional seasons. That was a cause for concern for the Panthers which prompted them to talk to several free agent goaltenders. After it was all said and done, it was the former Boston Bruin and two-time Vezina Trophy winner (NHL's Best Goaltender) that will be providing competition in net.

"He's a two-time Vezina trophy winner, Conn Smythe trophy winner," said Tallon during the first intermission of Florida's first game of their doubleheader against the Nashville Predators at the BB&T Center. "We need goaltending. We need somebody to help us get to where we need to go and right now it's Tim Thomas.

"He's going to get an opportunity."

Thomas helped Boston capture the Stanley Cup in 2011, picking up the Conn Smythe trophy as the Playoff MVP while going 16-9 with four shutouts and 1.98 goals against average. After posting a 35-19-1 record in 2011-12 with a .920 save percentage and 2.36 goals against average during the 2011-12 season, Thomas stepped away from the game last season. Looking to return after the year hiatus, Tallon doesn't expect any step back from the 39-year old.

"He's in good shape and he's eager to go," said Tallon. "He worked extremely hard all year and mentally and physically he's very strong and he's ready to compete for a starting position here."

"I'm not worried about that at all. I'm not worried about any of that," continued Tallon on Thomas being away from the game. "I think he's got a great pedigree. He's worked hard all his life to get to where he was and he's going to continue to work hard and we've had great discussions and I believe in what he says and I trust him and I think he will be a valuable asset to us."

What Tallon and the Panthers were really impressed with was Thomas wanting to come in, compete, be the No. 1 goaltender and help the club win any way possible.

"That's so important. We want to bring in people that really care and really work hard and show the young guys the way," said Tallon. "He's a prototypical professional that works extremely hard in practice and off the ice and is very dedicated to his profession."

And that's all Tallon cares about. Making the Panthers better and helping the team pick up victories as they look to get back to the playoffs. It all starts Tuesday as Thomas looks to make an enough of an impression to earn a contract.

"Competiton is great and the more competition you have internally, the better off your team will be," said Tallon. "It's wide open. Competition will be the best man win."

UPCOMING EVENTS

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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