Don't expect a Thomas return to Boston


TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted Sunday what most assumed to be true, that the lockout-shortened season doesn't make it any more likely Bruins goalie Tim Thomas changes his mind about sitting out:

Thomas is entering the final season of a contract that will pay him $3 million and will cost the Bruins $5 million against the cap. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has said if Thomas doesn't play, he would suspend the goalie.

But even if the Bruins suspend Thomas, the cap hit still would count against the team for next season. However, the Bruins would gain $4 million of that back by placing injured center Marc Savard on long-term injury reserve.

"If he wasn't playing I would have to suspend him," Chiarelli said of Thomas in June. "His cap number would still be on the cap. We would have relief through Savard being on the cap, so it would almost be a wash that way, and that's the way we would proceed through the year. We're not seriously cramped from the cap perspective. As I've said, we've got Marc Savard on LTI and he's at $4 million, and Tim's at $5 million, so do the math and we're maybe a million short. So we're not seriously disabled there. It's something that I'll approach delicately with Tim."