After passing a physical on Monday, Tim Thomas will be on the ice with the Florida Panthers for training camp on Tuesday, according to general manager Dale Tallon. After taking the 2012-2013 season off to spend more time with his family; Thomas will join the Panthers on a professional tryout contract.
"He's a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner," said Tallon. "We need goaltending. We need somebody to help us get to where we need to get to. Right now it's Tim Thomas. He's going to get an opportunity."
The need for another goaltender arose when Scott Clemmensen went down with a knee injury, leaving 23-year-old Jacob Markstrom as the only goaltender in camp with any NHL experience.
In 2011, the 39-year-old Thomas became only the second goaltender in league history to win the Vezina Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup in the same season. He also won the Vezina in 2009.
Thomas has a career 2.48 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage, and figures to have an opportunity to start in Florida if he is able to knock of the rust of a missed season.
"He and Markstrom and Clemmensen will battle for the position," said Tallon. "And whoever wins the position will be the starter.”