Thomas excited about new defense
Monday, 07.31.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
By Jeremy Lemoine
BOSTON – In the off-season, most NHL players take the opportunity to relax and spend time with family, and Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is no different.
Thomas spends his summers in Howell, Michigan with his family where he helps his wife take care of their three kids. On the side, he finds a bit of time to do some fishing and golfing.
“I actually just got back from Vermont,” said Thomas from his Michigan home. “We went for two weeks and I was able to participate in a bass fishing tournament which was fun. I came through Massachusetts as well and played in Ray Bourque’s Charity Golf Tournament and Boston University’s Golf Tournament.”
Aside from his off-season activities, Thomas has watched the Bruins do their own fishing in the free agent pool and was quite pleased with their efforts. He especially likes what defenseman Zdeno Chara brings to the table with his size, speed, and strength.
“It’s definitely interesting,” he said. “It’s going to be great to see Zdeno Chara standing in front the net with same jersey on, that’s for sure. I think he’s the most coveted defenseman in the league.”
Another netminder who is pleased with the summer moves is Thomas’ good friend and teammate, Hannu Toivonen. The B’s newly revamped defense, coupled with a formidable goaltending tandem in Toivonen and Thomas, should form a foundation for success in Boston. The question now is, who will assume the starting role when the puck drops on October 6?
“I actually talked with Hannu earlier today,” Thomas said. “He’s excited for the season as well and it will be nice to get back and see him in the locker room every morning.
“I agree 100 percent with anybody who thinks we will make a great tandem this season,” he said, “ because we will be. As for the starting role, who knows? It’s really just going to come down to who is ready and who is playing the best.”
The person to make that decision will be Bruins new Head Coach, Dave Lewis. Thomas admits to not being familiar with the Head Coach or Associate Coach, Marc Habsheid.
“I really don’t know anything about him to be honest,” he said. “All I really know is that I heard he lives about 20 minutes up the road in Michigan and they own a restaurant. I honestly don’t know much, other than his time in Detroit.”
Regardless of knowing the coaching staff or not, Thomas will work hard to be ready for training camp in September.
“I always show up to camp ready and that’s what I plan on doing,” he said. “Every year you try to take it to a new level, and that’s what I’m going to do.”