|Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has been traded to the New York Islanders. (Getty)|
From the department of "Out of Left Field," the New York Islanders announced that the organization has acquired Tim Thomas from the Boston Bruins for a conditional second-round pick in either the 2014 or 2015 draft.
Thomas, of course, decided to take this season off. In an email to CBSSports.com, Bill Zito, Thomas' agent, confirmed the goaltender's plans for this season remain “status quo.”
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Islanders would only give up the second-round pick if Thomas reports to them or any other organization should the Islanders trade his rights.
“We have acquired an asset for our organization,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said in a team release. “This acquisition allows us flexibility with our roster moving forward.”
This is a helpful move for both clubs.
The Bruins shed Thomas's $5-million cap hit, which was on the books even though Thomas was not playing this year because it's a 35-and-over contract.
The Islanders benefit because they don't have to pay Thomas, who will remain suspended for not reporting, while still absorbing his cap hit. That keeps the Islanders above the salary floor. That's where the added roster flexibility comes in for Snow.
There are a few different scenarios that could play out going forward.
The Islanders could allow Thomas's contract to expire at the end of this season, as this is the final year on the goaltender's four-year, $20-million deal. That would make Thomas an unrestricted free agent and take the Islanders completely off the hook.
However, because Thomas opted not to play this year, the Isles have the option of tolling the contract to next season. Should the Islanders choose to do that, it essentially defers the remaining year to 2013-14. So there are multiple options for New York.
Now Boston, which was right up against the cap with Thomas, has some wiggle room, while the Islanders don't have to worry as much about the $54.2 million salary floor. This looks like a no-risk, win-win for both clubs in what amounts to a cap-space deal.