Dartmouth Grad Scores for B’s
Montreal — Former Dartmouth College forward Nick Johnson scored two goals as the Boston Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night, 6-3, in the NHL preseason opener for both teams.
Johnson, signed as a free agent during the offseason, twice gave the Bruins leads with his goals. Veteran Jarome Iginla also scored twice, netting the eventual game-winner midway through the third period.
Johnson is trying to earn an NHL roster spot with Boston after spending most of last year’s lockout-shortened campaign in the AHL.
Thomas Joins Florida
Sunrise, Fla. — Tim Thomas wanted back in the NHL. The Florida Panthers wanted goaltending help.
It might be a perfect match.
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner agreed to a tryout deal with the Panthers on Monday, nearly a year and a half removed from his last game in the NHL. Thomas will be on the ice with Florida for practice today, and Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said his talks with the star of Boston’s run to the 2011 Stanley Cup convinced him that the move was right.
“He really wants to play and he really wants to lead and he really wants to be the starter and he wants to win and he wants to win now,” Tallon said Monday while the Panthers faced Nashville in a preseason doubleheader. “I think a good Tim Thomas makes us a better team.”
Thomas is expected to address reporters today, team officials said.
Florida’s projected starter in goal is Jacob Markstrom, the 23-year-old Swede who went 8-14-1 with a 3.22 goals-against average last season. Markstrom’s GAA was tops on the Panthers — but just 44th in the NHL among regular goalies.
So with Markstrom’s relative level of inexperience — he’s made only 29 NHL starts — plus the departure of free agent Jose Theodore and veteran Scott Clemmensen needing at least a couple more weeks to recover from knee surgery, the Panthers made it known they wanted some help.
“He’s a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, Conn Smythe Trophy winner, and we need goaltending,” Tallon said. “We need somebody to help us get to where we need to go. Right now, it’s Tim Thomas. … The more competition you have for spots internally, the better off your team will be. It’s a wide-open competition. Let the best man win.”
In parts of eight NHL seasons, Thomas has a 2.48 goals-against average, stopping just over 92 percent of the shots he has faced.
Thomas wrote on his Facebook page in 2012 that he was taking a season off from hockey to focus on “friends, family and faith.” He also made news by not joining the Bruins when they visited the White House in celebration of their Stanley Cup victory, saying he chose to skip the event because the “federal government has grown out of control.”
Tallon said he was not worried about Thomas’ layoff or any other on-ice issue.
“He’s in good shape and he’s eager to go,” Tallon said. “He worked extremely hard all year. Mentally and physically, he’s very strong and he’s ready to compete for a starting position here.”