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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 ET / 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."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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