Panthers, Thomas Make It Official
Sunrise, Fla. — Tim Thomas is officially back in the NHL.
The Stanley Cup-winning goalie signed a one-year contract Thursday with the Florida Panthers, a move that was expected for several days. Financial terms were not released.
The 39-year-old Thomas took last season off, then decided he was ready to return to hockey.
His signing is part of a busy week for the Panthers. The team will introduce Vincent Viola as its new owner today, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
Thomas has played in 378 NHL games, all with Boston. He’s stopped 92 percent of the shots he has faced, with a 2.48 goals-against average. He led the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup.
B’s Win in OT
Winnipeg, Manitoba — Loui Eriksson sent a high shot past goalie Ondrej Pavelec at 1:46 of overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 preseason victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Ryan Spooner and Eriksson went down the ice together and Spooner sent a pass across to Eriksson, who moved the puck with his skate onto his stick to set up his first goal of the preseason.
Niklas Svedberg stopped 26 shots for the Bruins, who improved their exhibition record to 5-1-0. Pavelec faced 33 shots for the Jets (1-3-3).
The teams play again tonight in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Spooner and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins. Devon Setoguchi and Mark Scheifele had Winnipeg’s two power-play goals.
Bergeron had the game’s first goal when he took a feed from Brad Marchand and put a close, low shot past Pavelec at 3:54 of the first period for his first goal of the preseason.
AHL Team Bolts Portland
Lewiston, Maine — The American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates will play all home games for the 2013-14 season in Lewiston because of a dispute with the Cumberland County Civic Center over terms of a new lease, the team’s CEO announced Thursday.
Managing owner and CEO Brian Petrovek said the team will play at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, about 40 miles north of Portland. His announcement came a day after mediation failed to resolve the dispute with the civic center, the arena in Portland where the team has played for the past 20 years.
The civic center has a seating capacity of about 6,700 for hockey games. The Colisee’s capacity is 3,737.
EA Sacks Video Game
New York — Video game-maker Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company have settled all lawsuits brought against the companies by former and current college athletes over the unauthorized use of the players’ images and likenesses in video games and other merchandise.
The NCAA is not part of the settlements, which includes the O’Bannon case. Brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, that lawsuit was asking for the NCAA, EA and CLC to share billions of dollars in revenues with college athletes.
The settlement was submitted for approval to the U.S. District Court in Northern California and the terms were confidential.
Earlier Thursday, EA announced it wouldn’t make a college football video game next year because of the ongoing legal issues.
The company had initially vowed to maintain the franchise after the NCAA decided in July to ends its contract to lend its logo to the game. But since then, several college conferences have followed the NCAA’s lead, and a federal appeals court ruled that Electronic Arts must face legal claims by players that it unfairly used their images without compensation.
EA Sports began making a college football game in 1993.
Knicks Change GMs
New York — Steve Mills is returning to the New York Knicks as president and general manager, replacing Glen Grunwald in a front-office shake-up just days before the start of training camp.
Mills spent a decade as an executive at Madison Square Garden and before that worked at the NBA for 16 years. He left MSG in 2009 after the arrival of Donnie Walsh as Knicks president.
Grunwald took over when Walsh left in 2011 and constructed much of the roster that helped the Knicks win a playoff series last season for the first time since 2000. He will remain with the organization as an adviser, the Knicks said in a release Thursday.
Grunwald tied for third in last season’s voting for Executive of the Year and had made a series of moves over the summer, including signing Metta World Peace and trading for former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani, but now Mills will inherit the roster and try to keep strengthening it.