Thomas in January 2008
|Born||April 15, 1974|
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)|
|Played for|| HIFK |
|NHL Draft|| 217th overall, 1994 |
Timothy Thomas Jr. (born April 15, 1974) is an American former professional ice hockey goaltender who mainly played in the National Hockey League (NHL), most notably with the Boston Bruins.
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.
In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player responsible for preventing the hockey puck from entering their team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring. The goaltender usually plays in or near the area in front of the net called the goal crease. Goaltenders tend to stay at or beyond the top of the crease to cut down on the angle of shots. In today's age of goaltending there are two common styles, butterfly and hybrid. Because of the power of shots, the goaltender wears special equipment designed to protect the body from direct impact. The goalie is one of the most valuable players on the ice, as their performance can greatly change the outcome or score of the game. One-on-one situations, such as breakaways and shootouts, have the tendency to highlight a goaltender's pure skill, or lack thereof. No more than one goaltender is allowed to be on the ice for each team at any given time. Teams are not required to use a goaltender and may instead opt to play with an additional skater, but the defensive disadvantage this poses generally means that the strategy is only used as a desperation maneuver when trailing late in a game or can be used if the opposing team has a delayed penalty.
The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.
Raised in Flint, Michigan, Thomas played college hockey for the University of Vermont for four years, from 1993–1997, during which he was drafted 217th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He played for several years in the minor leagues and Europe, before making it to the NHL at age 28, with the Boston Bruins. He finally emerged as the Bruins' starting goaltender at age 32. Thomas is a two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy (2009 and 2011) as the NHL's best goaltender, and was a member of Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. He became the oldest player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe at age 37. He is the second of four American-born players to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in NHL history, after Brian Leetch and before Jonathan Quick and Patrick Kane.
Flint is the largest city and seat of Genesee County, Michigan, United States. Located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit, it is a principal city within the region known as Mid Michigan. According to the 2010 census, Flint has a population of 102,434, making it the seventh largest city in Michigan. The Flint metropolitan area is located entirely within Genesee County. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan with a population of 425,790 in 2010. The city was incorporated in 1855.
The University of Vermont (UVM), officially The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, is a public research university and, since 1862, the sole land-grant university in the U.S. state of Vermont. Founded in 1791, UVM is among the oldest universities in the United States and is the fifth institution of higher education established in the New England region of the U.S. northeast. It is also listed as one of the original eight "Public Ivy" institutions in the United States.
The Quebec Nordiques were a professional ice hockey team based in Quebec City, Quebec. The Nordiques played in the World Hockey Association (1972–1979) and the National Hockey League (1979–1995). The franchise was relocated to Denver, Colorado in May 1995 and renamed the Colorado Avalanche.
Thomas played four seasons (1993–97) of college hockey for the University of Vermont, posting an 81–43–15 record to go with a 2.70 GAA and .934 save percentage. He ranks third in the NCAA Division I record book in career saves (3,950). He led the nation in save percentage in 1996 (.924) and helped UVM's Catamounts to NCAA tournament appearances in his final two seasons, including a berth in the 1996 NCAA Frozen Four (a program first).He was a two-time All-ECAC Conference selection and a two-time NCAA East All-American. He ranks first all-time amongst Vermont goalies in games played (140), wins (81) and saves (3,950). At Vermont, Thomas played on the same team as former NHL All-Star Martin St. Louis.
ECAC Hockey is one of the six conferences that compete in NCAA Division I ice hockey. The conference used to be affiliated with the Eastern College Athletic Conference, a consortium of over 300 colleges in the eastern United States. This relationship ended in 2004; however, the ECAC abbreviation was retained in the name of the hockey conference. ECAC Hockey is the only ice hockey conference with identical memberships in both its women's and men's divisions.
Martin St. Louis is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. An undrafted player, St. Louis played over 1,000 games and scored 1,000 points in an NHL career that began with the Calgary Flames in 1998 and ended with the New York Rangers in 2015. St. Louis is best remembered for having played with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2000 until being traded to the Rangers in 2014. He also briefly played with HC Lausanne of the Swiss National League A. He was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup championship team in 2004. St. Louis was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018; his first year of eligibility.
Completing his four-year tenure at Vermont, Thomas played briefly for the Birmingham Bulls of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1997–98, before transferring overseas mid-season to HIFK of the Finnish SM-Liiga. Thomas played 18 games with a save percentage of .947 as the team advanced through the playoffs to defeat Ilves in the finals and win the Finnish championship. After signing with the Edmonton Oilers on June 4, 1998,Thomas initially moved to the American Hockey League (AHL) the following season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, where he played 15 games, before again transferring to HIFK. Thomas recorded a .917 save percentage in 14 games as HIFK made it to the league finals once more but finished as runners-up to TPS.
The Birmingham Bulls were a minor professional ice hockey team in the East Coast Hockey League from 1992 to 2001. Their home arena was the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. The team moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey and was renamed the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2001. After the 2005 season, the franchise was sold to a California investor group and became the Stockton Thunder, affiliated with the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL.
The Houston Aeros were a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. The team played in Houston, Texas, at the Toyota Center. They were the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. The team is now the Iowa Wild.
The International Hockey League (IHL) was a minor professional ice hockey league in the United States and Canada that operated from 1945 to 2001. The IHL served as the National Hockey League's alternate farm system to the American Hockey League (AHL). After 56 years of operation, financial instability led to the league's demise. Six of the surviving seven teams merged into the AHL in 2001.
In 1999–2000, Thomas returned once again to North America to play for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL, then spent the next season with AIK IF of the Swedish Elitserien. In 2001, he joined the Boston Bruins organization, but chose to continue playing in Europe, spending his first full SM-liiga season in 2001–02 with Kärpät. Although the team did not get far in the playoffs, Thomas played a successful season of 32 games with a .925 save percentage.
The Detroit Vipers were an International Hockey League team. The team was founded in 1994, and played at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Their mascot was a polar bear named Vipe-bear.
Allmänna Idrottsklubben Ishockeyförening, is the ice hockey department of sports club Allmänna Idrottsklubben based in Stockholm, Sweden. Since the 2014 AIK's men's team compete in HockeyAllsvenskan, the second tier of ice hockey in Sweden, following a four-year spell in the top flight, the SHL. The women's team competes in Riksserien, the highest division of women's ice hockey. AIK's home games are mainly played at Hovet, which seats 8,050 spectators, though some high-profile games may be played at the Ericsson Globe which has a larger capacity of 13,850.
The Swedish Hockey League is the highest division in the Swedish ice hockey system. The league currently consists of 14 teams. The league was founded in 1975, and while Swedish ice hockey champions have been crowned through various formats since 1922, the title, as well as the Le Mat Trophy, have been awarded to the winner of the SHL playoffs since the league's inaugural 1975–76 season.
Beginning in 2002–03, Thomas played his initial two seasons with Boston's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Bruins during the 2002–03 season, appearing in four games total, with a .907 save percentage and a 3–1 record. Thomas recorded his first NHL win in his league debut with the Bruins on October 19, 2002, in a 31-save, 4–3 win against the Edmonton Oilers.
The 2002–03 AHL season was the 67th season of the American Hockey League. Twenty-eight teams played 80 games each in the schedule. The Hamilton Bulldogs finished first overall in the regular season. The Houston Aeros won their first Calder Cup championship.
The Providence Bruins are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL), and are the primary development team for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
The 2002–03 NHL season was the 86th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup winners were the New Jersey Devils, who won the best of seven series 4–3 against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
As a result of the one-season duration NHL lockout in North America, in 2004–05 Thomas joined Jokerit of the SM-Liiga, his fourth stint in Finland. He played in all games of the season except one, 54 games in total, and posted a league-high .946 save percentage. He also surpassed the previous record of 13 shutouts in the league by achieving 15 shutouts during the regular season. Thomas continued to perform in the playoffs, where he played 12 games with a .938 save percentage. However, the team was unable to defeat Kärpät in the finals, and Thomas was awarded his second silver medal in the SM-liiga. He received the Lasse Oksanen trophy (as the league's best player) and the Kultainen kypärä award (as the league's best player award as voted by the players), becoming the first Jokerit player to win the award since Teemu Selänne.
In August 2005, Thomas signed to play with Jokerit for the 2005–06 season, but his contract included an NHL option and on September 14, one day before the regular season in the SM-liiga started, Thomas announced he had signed with the Boston Bruins, leaving Jokerit with rookie goaltender Joonas Hallikainen as their sole goaltender. Eventually, Jokerit used three North American goaltenders (Karl Goehring, Steve Passmore and Tom Askey) that season, but missed the playoffs.
When he returned to North America, Thomas was assigned to the Providence Bruins of the AHL out of training camp. However, as Boston suffered injuries to their two goaltenders Andrew Raycroft and Hannu Toivonen, Thomas earned his first call-up to the NHL in three years and took over as the Bruins starter, completing the 2005–06 season with a 12–13–7 record, 2.77 goals against average (GAA), .917 save percentage and his first NHL shutout. As a result, Thomas was awarded the Boston Bruins 7th Player Award, voted by the fans as having gone beyond expectations. In the off-season, Thomas was re-signed by the Bruins to a three-year contract.
Although Boston's previous starter, Andrew Raycroft, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the off-season, Thomas began the 2006–07 season as the Bruins' backup, behind Hannu Toivonen instead. However, as Toivonen struggled, Thomas was again promoted as the Bruins' starting goaltender, eventually posting a 30–29–4 record with a .904 save percentage. He won the 7th Player Award for the second consecutive season and became the first goaltender in team history to win the award twice.
During the summer of 2007, Thomas began a yoga-based physical conditioning program to increase his flexibility and strength, a concept that would greatly increase his abilities during the 2007–08 season and onwards.
On July 1, 2007, the Bruins acquired goaltender Manny Fernandez from the Minnesota Wild and later traded Thomas' previous backup, Toivonen, to the St. Louis Blues. Many hockey analysts presumed Thomas would support Fernandez as a backup goaltender once again for the 2007–08 season.[ citation needed ] However, as Fernandez went down to injury early in the season, Thomas seized the opportunity and once again emerged as the Bruins' starter. He was selected for his first NHL All-Star Game on January 22, 2008, as a replacement for Martin Brodeur and played in the third period of the game, stopping 14 of 18 shots. Thomas was credited with the win, as the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 8–7.
Early in the 2008–09 season, Thomas became the first Bruins goaltender to record back-to-back shutouts since Byron Dafoe in 1999, winning 1–0 games against the Edmonton Oilers on October 27, 2008, and the Vancouver Canucks on October 28.His overall shutout streak came to end the next game at 154:43 minutes against the Calgary Flames on October 30. In late November, Thomas missed a few games due to an illness. He was chosen to play in his second All-Star Game in 2009 and was once again the winning goaltender for the Eastern Conference, defeating the Western Conference 12–11 in a shootout (the first time the All-Star Game required the tie-breaker since 2003). One month later, on February 26, 2009, Thomas recorded his 100th NHL win in a 6–0 shutout against the Anaheim Ducks.
On April 2, 2009 Thomas agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Bruins, through the 2012–13 season. The contract saw him make $6 million the first two seasons, then $5 million and $3 million the final two seasons for an average annual salary of $5 million.Two days later, on April 4, he posted his career-high fifth shutout of the season in a 1–0 win against the New York Rangers, clinching the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Boston's first title since 2001–02. His strong play allowed the Bruins to sweep the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2009 playoffs, however the Bruins were defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the second round.
On June 18, 2009, Thomas was awarded the Vezina Trophy at the NHL awards, edging Minnesota Wild netminder Niklas Bäckström and the Columbus Blue Jackets' rookie goaltender Steve Mason. He led the NHL with his 2.10 GAA and .933 save percentage.
Thomas started for the Bruins in the 3rd NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2010. The game, held at Fenway Park in Boston, resulted in a 2–1 overtime victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. But Thomas suffered a drop-off in form during the regular season, posting just a 17–18–8 record, albeit with a still-strong 2.56 GAA. He did not play at all in the playoffs, as Tuukka Rask played all the games for Boston. The Bruins won their Conference quarter-final series and led the Philadelphia Flyers three games to none in the Conference semi-final. Boston then lost the next four games to drop the series; the Flyers became just the third out of four teams in NHL history (after the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders, and before the 2014 Los Angeles Kings) to win a series after losing the first three games.
Named to his third straight NHL All-Star Game in 2011 – the game was not played in 2010 due to the Winter Olympics – Thomas became the first goaltender in NHL history to earn the win in three consecutive All-Star Games.
In the 2010–11 season, following off-season hip surgery during the summer of 2010, Thomas broke the NHL record for save percentage, beating Dominik Hašek's record of .937, with a .938 percentage. On April 22, 2011, Thomas was named a finalist for the 2010–11 Vezina Trophy, which he won on June 22.
On May 27, 2011, Thomas posted a shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, sending the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup appearance since 1990. In the Finals, Thomas again posted a shutout victory in Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks. During the Bruins' playoff run, he set the record for most saves in a single post-season with 798 and the most saves in a Stanley Cup series with 238, and broke Frank McCool's 66-year-old record of fewest goals allowed in a seven-game Stanley Cup Finals, allowing only eight goals total (for an all-time record .967 save percentage in the Stanley Cup Finals). Thomas also became the first goaltender ever to post a shutout in a Game 7 on the road. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and at 37 years, 62 days, Thomas is the oldest recipient of the award. He became just the second American-born NHL player to ever win the award, 17 years after Brian Leetch did so in 1994, plus Thomas was also the first American-born goaltender to receive this honor.
Thomas began the 2011–12 season as a Stanley Cup champion and the defending Vezina and Conn Smythe trophy winner. He played the majority of the 82-game schedule for the Bruins, beating Tuukka Rask for the number one spot for the second consecutive year. Although not completely matching the previous year's record-breaking run, Thomas received the most votes in the 2012 All Star Game Ballot, entering the 2012 NHL All-Star Game as the starting goaltender, and put up another solid year with the Bruins, helping them dominate the NHL with their goal differential for the majority of the year.
The Bruins ended up losing in seven games to the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Every game of the series was won by only one goal. Shortly after the Bruins' season ended, Thomas announced that he would sit out the 2012–13 season. Bruins' general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed Thomas' decision.
With the retirement of Adam Foote during the off-season, Thomas became one of only two Quebec Nordiques draft picks still active in the NHL, the other being Milan Hejduk.
Thomas was traded to the New York Islanders on February 7, 2013, in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in either 2014 or 2015.Before the trade, the Bruins had suspended Thomas for not reporting to training camp. Thomas did not play any games with the Islanders organization before his contract expired.
After taking a year off from the NHL, Thomas joined the Florida Panthers on a tryout contract on September 16, 2013.He officially signed a one-year contract with the Panthers on September 26. Thomas has mentioned he chose 34 as his jersey number with the Panthers in honor of John Vanbiesbrouck, a goaltender from Michigan whom he grew up watching.
Thomas was acquired by the Dallas Stars on March 5, 2014, in exchange for goaltender Dan Ellis. He went back to number 30 in Dallas and served as backup to Kari Lehtonen.
Thomas during the 2008 IIHF World Championship
|Men's Ice hockey|
During Thomas' college career with the University of Vermont, he was twice named to the United States squad for the World Championships. Following his sophomore year, he was chosen for the 1995 World Championships, but did not appear in any games as the United States finished in sixth place. He was chosen for the tournament for the second consecutive year in 1996 and made his international debut, playing in 21 minutes for one game, allowing one goal. Thomas picked up his first medal as the United States won bronze.
After graduating from the college program, Thomas was named to Team USA for the 1998 World Championships following his rookie professional season and played his first full international game. However, the United States finished a disappointing 12th. Thomas would not make another World Championships appearance until 2005, where he was named to Team USA in another limited role, not appearing in any games behind starter Rick DiPietro as they failed to earn a medal.
Established as an NHL starter following the 2007–08 season, Thomas was named to his fifth World Championships in 2008. He appeared in three games before suffering a groin injury, splitting starts with Robert Esche and posting a 1.50 GAA with one shutout against Latvia in the preliminaries. The United States finished in sixth place.
On January 1, 2010, Thomas was selected to be a member of the United States men's hockey team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, serving as backup goaltender to the Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller.
On February 26, 2010, Thomas made his Olympic debut in the United States–Finland semi-final, entering the game with approximately 11:30 remaining in the third period and a 6–0 lead. He replaced Ryan Miller to prevent any chance of injury to the American starter.
Thomas and wife Melissa have three children:two daughters and a son. Thomas is a Christian and a Libertarian, and has stated that the person he would most like to have dinner with is conservative TV pundit Glenn Beck. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, Thomas skipped the traditional victors' meet-and-greet with President Barack Obama at the White House on January 23, 2012; he was the only active Bruin not to attend. He released a statement regarding his absence:
I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT
|All-ECAC Hockey Rookie Team||1993–94|
|All-ECAC Hockey First Team||1994–95, 1995–96|
|AHCA East Second-Team All-American||1994–95|
|AHCA East First-Team All-American||1995–96|
Source: Tim Thomas on HockeyGoalies.org
Thomas runs several ice hockey camps in the Northeast United States during the NHL off-season for both goaltenders and skaters.
|1992–93||Davison High School||MHSAA||27||18||5||4||1580||87||9||3.30||.926|
|Senior int'l totals||16||7||5||0||806:19||42||1||0.83|
The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded annually to the most valuable player (MVP) during the National Hockey League's (NHL) Stanley Cup playoffs. It is named after Conn Smythe, the longtime owner, general manager, and head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Conn Smythe Trophy has been awarded 52 times to 45 players since the 1964–65 NHL season. Each year, at the conclusion of the final game of the Stanley Cup Final, members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association vote to elect the player deserving of the trophy. The trophy is handed out prior to the presentation of the Stanley Cup by the NHL Commissioner and only the winner is announced, in contrast to most of the other NHL awards which name three finalists and are presented at a ceremony.
Patrick Jacques Roy is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender and the former head coach and vice-president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is currently the general manager and head coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He is regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. In 2017 Roy was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.
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| Ken Dryden Award |
| Winner of the Kultainen kypärä trophy|
| Winner of the Lasse Oksanen trophy |
| Winner of the Urpo Ylönen trophy |
Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek
| Winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy |
with Manny Fernandez
| Winner of the Vezina Trophy |
| Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy |