"Guys, take it easy. He'll be one of ours on paper some day." - Bruce Bennett
What was an on-paper scenario for bored Internet commenters last summer has become reality: The New York Islanders have acquired the empty cap hit known as Vezina-winning goalie Tim Thomas.
I am not making this up. Neither are they:
#Isles Can confirm Isles have acquired goaltender Tim Thomas via trade— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) February 7, 2013
Move is cap-related -- #Isles needed to be over the floor by tomorrow, needed insurance against not being cap compliant the entire season.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 7, 2013
But wait: Brian Compton says it's NOT about reaching the floor*
This is not about reaching the floor. #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) February 7, 2013
*at least not now ... but later? If they dump a salary? That's probably where the "flexibility" Garth Snow talked about comes in.
Staple says it is for a conditional second rounder either in 2014 or 2015. If that pick is going to the Bruins no matter what [edit: It's not. See below. Remain calm.], then the Islanders better send someone over to Thomas' Colorado bunker ASAP and convince him that the safety and the security of the United States of America depends on him showing up to help fellow old-timer Evgeni Nabokov handle duties in the Isles crease.
Update: Relief! Cap compliance costs you nothing:
The Boston Bruins only get a draft pick from the Islanders for Tim Thomas if he reports to them or any other team if NYI trade his rights.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 7, 2013
Given that outcome is quite unlikely, however -- despite the Isles' ability to coax Nabokov and Lubomir Visnovsky to report through attrition and repeated sales calls -- this is just one more ...
odd* move ... in a franchise that is known for them as much as its known for being the last NHL dynasty.
*actually, if this costs nothing, it's rather fantastic.
More to come, probably. Because you know ... Islanders hockey!