General manager Peter Chiarelli explained the unique situation created by Thomas' decision to sit out the 2013 season and his official response on Jan. 13.
"We'll end up suspending him and we want to do it in a non-adversarial way...I've talked to the agent and we'll agree to some type of set of facts and remedies and that'll be it. So he will be on our cap, unless I trade him," he said.
Because Thomas signed his contract after the age of 35, his $5 million cap hit still sits on the team's books even though he is suspended. Options for moving him are somewhat limited.
"With the [salary] floor as it is, $44 million for this year, there's probably not the opportunity to move him to a team that needs to get to the floor, so it's a bit of a standstill. He's on our cap and he'll be suspended," Chiarelli said.
However, Thomas still wants to play in the 2013-14 season.