NHL Wiki
Tim Thomas

Thomas in January 2008
Born April 15, 1974 (1974-04-15) (age 48)
Flint, MI, USA
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team
F. teams
Boston Bruins
Ntl. team  United States
NHL Draft 217th overall, 1994
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1997–present

Timothy James Thomas, Jr. (born April 15, 1974), nicknamed "The Tank", is an American professional ice hockey goaltender for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). Raised in Davison, MI, Thomas played college hockey for the University of Vermont for four years, from 1993–1997, during which he was drafted 217th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He played for several years in the minor leagues and Europe, before making it to the NHL at age 28, with the Boston Bruins. He finally emerged as the Bruins' starting goaltender at age 32. Thomas was the winner of the 2009 Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender and played as a backup for Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[1] Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. Winning it, along with the Stanley Cup, at age 37, he became the oldest player and second American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in NHL history, after Brian Leetch.[2]. On June 22, 2011, Tim Thomas was awarded the Vezina Trophy for the second time in his career.

Playing career[]

College hockey[]

Thomas played four seasons (1993–97) of college hockey for the University of Vermont, posting an 81–43–15 record to go with a 2.70 GAA and .924 save percentage. He ranks third in the NCAA Division I record book in career saves (3,950). He led the nation in save percentage in 1996 (.924) and helped UVM's Catamounts to NCAA tournament appearances in his final two seasons, including a berth in the 1996 NCAA Frozen Four (a program first).[3] He was a two-time All-ECAC Conference selection and a two-time NCAA East All-American.[4] He ranks first all-time amongst Vermont goalies in games played (140), wins (81) and saves (3,950). At Vermont, Thomas played on the same team as Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis.

Early pro years[]

Completing his four-year tenure at Vermont, Thomas played briefly for the Birmingham Bulls of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1997–98, before transferring overseas mid-season to HIFK of the Finnish SM-Liiga. Thomas played 18 games with a save percentage of .947 as the team advanced through the playoffs to defeat Ilves in the finals and win the Finnish championship. After signing with the Edmonton Oilers on June 4, 1998,[4] Thomas initially moved to the AHL the following season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, where he played 15 games, before again transferring to HIFK. Thomas recorded a .917 save percentage in 14 games as HIFK made it to the league finals once more but finished as runners-up to TPS.

In 1999–2000, Thomas returned once again to North America to play for the Detroit Vipers of the IHL, then spent the next season with AIK of Sweden's Elitserien. In 2001, #30 Thomas joined the Boston Bruins organization, but chose to continue playing in Europe, spending his first full SM-liiga season in 2001–02 with Kärpät of Oulu. Although the team didn't get far in the playoffs, Thomas played a successful season of 32 games with a .925 save percentage.

AHL seasons, NHL debut[]

Beginning in 2002–03, Thomas played his initial two seasons with Boston's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Bruins during the 2002–03 season, appearing in four games total, with a .907 save percentage and a 3–1 record. Thomas recorded his first NHL win in his league debut with the Bruins on October 19, 2002, in a 31-save, 4–3 win against the Edmonton Oilers.[4]

Return to Finland[]

In 2004–05, Thomas joined Jokerit of the SM-Liiga, his fourth stint in Finland. He played in all games of the season except one, 54 games in total, and racked up a league-high .946 save percentage. He also surpassed the previous record of 13 shutouts in the league by achieving 15 shutouts during the regular season. Thomas continued to perform in the playoffs, where he played 12 games with a .938 save percentage. The team was unable to defeat Kärpät in the finals, however, and Thomas was awarded his second silver medal in the SM-liiga. He received the Lasse Oksanen trophy (as the league's best player) and the Kultainen kypärä award (as the league's best player award as voted by the players), becoming the first Jokerit player to win the award since Teemu Selänne.

Boston Bruins[]


In August 2005, Thomas signed to play with Jokerit for the 2005–06 season, but his contract included an NHL option and on September 14, one day before the regular season in the SM-liiga started, Thomas announced he had signed with the Boston Bruins, leaving Jokerit with rookie goaltender Joonas Hallikainen as their sole goaltender. Eventually Jokerit used three North American goaltenders (Karl Goehring, Steve Passmore and Tom Askey) that season but missed the playoffs.

When he returned to North America, he was assigned to Providence of the AHL out of training camp. However, as Boston suffered injuries to their two goalies Andrew Raycroft and Hannu Toivonen, Thomas earned his first call-up to the NHL in three years and took over as the Bruins starting goalie, completing the 2005–06 season with a 12–13–7 record, 2.77 goals against average (GAA), .917 save percentage and his first NHL shutout. As a result, Thomas was awarded the Boston Bruins 7th Player Award, voted by the fans as having gone beyond expectations. In the off-season, Thomas was re-signed by the Bruins to a three-year deal.


Although Boston's previous starter, Andrew Raycroft, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the off-season, Thomas began the 2006–07 season as the Bruins' backup, behind Hannu Toivonen instead. However, as Toivonen struggled, Thomas was again promoted as the Bruins' starting goaltender, eventually posting a 30–29–4 record with a .904 save percentage. He won the 7th Player Award for the second consecutive season and became the first goalie in team history to win the award twice.

During the summer of 2007, Thomas began a yoga-based physical conditioning program to increase his flexibility and strength, a concept that would greatly increase his abilities during the 2007–08 NHL season and onwards.[5]


Thomas stretching prior to a game in November 2008

On July 1, 2007, the Bruins acquired goaltender Manny Fernandez from the Minnesota Wild and later traded Thomas' previous backup, Toivonen, to the St. Louis Blues. Many hockey analysts presumed that Thomas would support Fernandez as a backup goaltender once again for the 2007–08 season.[citation needed] However, as Fernandez went down to injury early in the season, Thomas seized the opportunity and once again emerged as the Bruins' starting goalie. He was selected for his first NHL All-Star Game on January 22, 2008 as a replacement for Martin Brodeur and played in the third period of the game, stopping 14 of 18 shots. Thomas was credited with the win, as the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 8–7.

Early in the 2008–09 season, Thomas became the first Bruins goalie to record back-to-back shutouts since Byron Dafoe in 1999, winning 1–0 games against the Edmonton Oilers on October 27, 2008 and the Vancouver Canucks on October 28.[6] His overall shutout streak came to end the next game at 154:43 minutes against the Calgary Flames on October 30.[7] In late November, Thomas missed a few games due to an illness. He was chosen to play in his second All-Star Game in 2009 and was once again the winning goaltender for the Eastern Conference, beating the Western Conference 12–11 in a shootout (the first time the All-Star Game required the tie-breaker since 2005).[8] A month later, on February 26, 2009, Thomas recorded his 100th NHL win, in a 6–0 shutout against the Anaheim Ducks.[8]


On April 2, 2009 Thomas agreed to a four-year extension with the Bruins, through the 2012–13 season. The contract will see him make $6 million the first two seasons, then $5 million and $3 million the final two seasons for an average annual salary of $5 million.[9] Two days later, on April 4, he posted his career-high fifth shutout of the season in a 1–0 win against the New York Rangers, clinching the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Boston's first title since 2001–02.[10] His strong play allowed the Bruins to sweep the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Bruins bowed out to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in Round 2.

On June 18, 2009, Thomas was awarded the Vezina Trophy at the NHL awards, beating out Minnesota Wild netminder Niklas Bäckström and the Blue Jackets' rookie goaltender Steve Mason. He led the NHL with his 2.10 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

Thomas started for the Bruins in the 3rd NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2010. The game, held at Fenway Park in Boston, resulted in a 2–1 overtime victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. But Thomas suffered a drop-off in form during the regular season, posting just a 17–18–8 record, albeit with a still-strong 2.56 GAA. He did not play at all in the playoffs, as Tuukka Rask played all the games for Boston. The Bruins won their Conference quarter-final series, and led the Philadelphia Flyers three games to none in the Conference semi-final. But Boston then lost the next four games to drop the series; the Flyers became just the third team in NHL history (after the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders) to win a series after losing the first three games.

Named to his third straight NHL All-Star Game in 2011 – the game was not played in 2010 due to the Winter Olympics – Thomas became the first goaltender in league history to earn the win in three consecutive All-Star Games.[11]

2010-2011 and Stanley Cup Win[]

In the 2010–2011 season, following off-season hip surgery during the summer of 2010, Tim Thomas broke the NHL record for save percentage, beating Dominik Hasek's record of .937, with a .938 percentage. On Friday, April 22, 2011, Thomas was named a finalist for the 2010–2011 Vezina Trophy, which he won on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. On Friday, May 27, 2011, Thomas posted a shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, sending the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup appearance since 1990. In the Finals, Thomas again posted a shutout victory in Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks. He was selected as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, being only the second American-born NHL player to ever win the award, and the first in 17 years. During the Bruins' playoff run, he set the record for most saves in a single postseason with 798 and the most saves in a Stanley Cup series with 238, and broke Frank McCool's 66-year old record of fewest goals allowed in a 7-game Stanley Cup Finals, allowing only eight goals total. Because of his incredible performance in the postseason, many fans and analysts speculated that Thomas would win the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP even if he did not win the Cup. At 37 years, 62 days of age, Thomas is the oldest recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy.[12]

Personal life[]

Tim and wife Melissa[13] have three children: daughters Kiley, born August 2000 and Kelsey, born May 2005, and son Keegan, born September 2006.[14]

Thomas is bilingual, having learned Finnish while playing in Finland.

International play[]

Medal record
Thomas during the 2008 IIHF World Championship
Thomas during the 2008 IIHF World Championship
Men's Ice hockey
Competitor for  United States
Olympic Games
Silver 2010 Vancouver Ice Hockey
World Championships
Bronze 1996 Austria Ice Hockey

During Thomas' college career with the University of Vermont, he was named to Team USA twice for the World Championships. Following his sophomore year, he was chosen for the 1995 World Championships, but did not appear in any games as the United States finished in sixth place. He was chosen for the tournament for the second consecutive year in 1996 and made his international debut, playing in 21 minutes for one game, allowing one goal. Thomas picked up his first medal as the United States won bronze.

After graduating from the college program, Thomas was named to Team USA for the 1998 World Championships following his rookie professional season and played his first full international game. However, the United States finished a disappointing twelfth. Thomas would not make another World Championships appearance until 2005, where he was named to Team USA in another limited role, not appearing in any games behind starter Rick DiPietro as they failed to earn a medal.

Established as an NHL starter following the 2007–08 NHL season, Thomas was named to his fifth World Championships in 2008. He appeared in three games before suffering a groin injury, splitting starts with Robert Esche and posting a 1.50 GAA with one shutout against Latvia in the preliminaries. Team USA finished in sixth place.

On January 1, 2010, Thomas was selected to be a member of the U.S. men's hockey team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

On February 26, 2010, Thomas made his Olympic debut in the USA – Finland semifinal, entering the game with approximately 11:30 remaining in the 3rd period and a 6–0 lead. He replaced Ryan Miller to prevent any chance of injury to the American starter.



  • Named to the ECAC First All-Star Team in 1995 and 1996.
  • Named to the NCAA East All-American Second Team in 1995.
  • Named to the NCAA East All-American First Team in 1996.

Source: Tim Thomas on HockeyGoalies.org


  • Awarded the Urpo Ylönen trophy (best goaltender) in 1998.
  • Awarded the Kultainen kypärä award (best player as voted by the players) in 2005.
  • Awarded the Lasse Oksanen trophy (best player) in 2005 - first non-European to win the award.


  • Played in the All-Star Game in 2008, 2009 and 2011
  • 2009 William M. Jennings Trophy Winner along with teammate Manny Fernandez for fewest goals allowed by team goaltenders
  • 2009 Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award Winner for best save percentage amongst NHL goaltenders (minimum 25 games started) – .933
  • 2009 Vezina Trophy Winner of the NHL's top goaltender award
  • Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 2009.
  • 2011 Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award Winner for best save percentage amongst NHL goaltenders (minimum 25 games started) – .938 (also an all-time record for season save percentage).
  • 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner
  • 2011 Stanley Cup winner
  • 2011 Vezina Trophy Winner of the NHL's top goaltender award
  • First goaltender to win the Stanley Cup, Vezina, and Conn Smythe trophies in the same season since Bernie Parent for the 1974–75 season.

Hockey camps[]

  • Tim Thomas runs several ice hockey camps in the Northeast United States during the NHL off-season for both goaltenders and skaters.[15]

Career statistics[]

Regular season[]

Season Team League GP W L T/OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1992–93 Davison High School MHSAA 27 18 5 4 1580 87 9 3.30 .926
1993–94 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 33 15 12 6 1864 94 0 3.03
1994–95 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 34 18 13 2 2010 90 4 2.69
1995–96 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 37 26 7 4 2254 88 3 2.34 .924
1996–97 Vermont Catamounts NCAA 36 22 11 3 2158 101 2 2.81
1997–98 HIFK SM-l 18 13 4 1 1034 28 2 1.62
1997–98 Birmingham Bulls ECHL 6 4 1 1 360 13 1 2.17 .944
1997–98 Houston Aeros IHL 1 0 0 1 59 4 0 4.01 .852
1998–99 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 15 6 8 0 837 45 0 3.23
1998–99 HIFK SM-l 14 8 3 3 831 34 2 2.23
1999–00 Detroit Vipers IHL 36 10 21 3 2020 120 1 3.56 .892
2000–01 AIK SEL 43 17 16 10 2542 105 3 2,48 .918
2001–02 Kärpät SM-l 32 15 12 5 1937 79 4 2.45
2002–03 Providence Bruins AHL 35 18 12 5 2049 98 1 2.87 .906
2002–03 Boston Bruins NHL 4 3 1 0 220 11 0 3.00 .907
2003–04 Providence Bruins AHL 43 20 16 6 2544 78 9 1.84 .941
2004–05 Jokerit SM-l 54 34 7 13 3267 86 15 1.58 .946
2005–06 Providence Bruins AHL 26 15 11 0 1515 57 1 2.26 .923
2005–06 Boston Bruins NHL 38 12 13 10 2187 101 1 2.77 .917
2006–07 Boston Bruins NHL 66 30 29 4 3619 189 3 3.13 .905
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 57 28 19 6 3342 136 3 2.44 .921
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 54 36 11 7 3259 114 5 2.10 .933
2009–10 Boston Bruins NHL 43 17 18 8 2442 104 5 2.56 .915
2010–11 Boston Bruins NHL 57 35 11 7 3364 112 9 2.00 .938
NHL totals 319 161 102 44 18,432 767 26 2.50 .922


Season Team League GP W L OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1997–98 HIFK SM-l 9 9 0 551 14 3 1.52
1998–99 HIFK SM-l 11 7 4 658 25 0 2.28
2000–01 AIK SEL 5 1 4 299 20 0 4.00 .875
2001–02 Kärpät SM-l 3 1 2 180 12 0 4.00
2003–04 Providence Bruins AHL 2 0 2 84 10 0 7.13
2004–05 Jokerit SM-l 12 8 4 720 22 0 1.83
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 7 3 4 0 430 19 0 2.65 .914
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 11 7 4 0 680 21 1 1.85 .935
2010–11 Boston Bruins NHL 25 16 9 0 1542 51 4 1.98 .940
NHL totals 43 26 17 0 2652 91 5 2.06 .936


Year Team Event   GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1996 United States WC 1 21 1 0 2.86
1998 United States WC 1 1 0 0 58 2 0 2.06
1999 United States WC 2 98 7 0 4.25
2008 United States WC 3 160 4 1 1.50
2010 United States Oly 1 0 0 0 12 1 0 5.21
Senior int'l totals 8 349 15 1 2.58


  1. "Tim Thomas". NHL.com. http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8460703&view=allstar. Retrieved March, 30 2010. 
  2. "Thomas caps amazing season with Conn Smythe". NHL.com. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=566031&navid=DL. Retrieved June 16 2011. 
  3. Bo Rottenborn (2009-01-22). "On Ice: Fantastic Four". NCAA.com. http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/012209aaa.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Tim Thomas". HockeyGoalies. http://www.hockeygoalies.org/bio/thomast.html. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  5. "Tim Thomas: Boston's yoga bear". The Hockey News. http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/11427-Double-OT-Tim-Thomas-Bostons-yoga-bear.html. 
  6. "Thomas records second straight shutout; Bruins top Vancouver 1–0". Canadian Press. 2008-10-28. http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5ihhqVdBxe7wlfxQe2fHGVEPb2jew. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  7. "October was a month of highlights". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=390289. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Tim Thomas: Making Memories at Fenway". NHLPA.com. http://www.nhlpa.com/News/Headlines/87763886-545D-4E91-8AF8-43971D67FAAF/Tim-Thomas-Making-Memories-At-Fenway. Retrieved March, 30 2010. 
  9. "Thomas's deal: four years, $20 million". Boston.com by Kevin Paul Dupont, Boston Globe Staff April 3, 2009. April 3, 2009. http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/extras/bruins_blog/2009/04/thomas_inks_new.html. Retrieved March, 30 2010. 
  10. "Bruins clinch No. 1 spot in NHL East". CBC News. 2009-04-04. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/04/04/sp-rangers-bruins.html. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  11. "Briere's 2 goals lift Lidstrom NHL All-Stars". Boston.com by Ira Podell, AP Staff Writer. January 30, 2011. http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/articles/2011/01/30/team_lidstrom_edges_team_staal_11_10/?p1=Well_Sports_links. 
  12. "Bruins' Thomas wins Conn Smythe award". cbc.ca. 2011-06-15. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/stanleycup/story/2011/06/15/sp-connsmythe.html. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  13. Klein, Jeff Z. (January 24, 2008). "Tim Thomas, All-Star: “It's Funny Even Hearing It to My Ears”". The New York Times. http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/tim-thomas-all-star-its-funny-even-hearing-it-to-my-ears/. 
  14. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:JzDuilGOw74J:pressbox.teamusa.org/Publications/2010%2520U.S.%2520Olympic%2520Team%2520Fact%2520Sheet.doc+%22brian+rafalski%22+%22son+evan%22&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESg3fxZZ86tdGVwEUFs1HJ5GzyZjiUNCTcp3dKZ0kYyfoAtt5wyt-bi9mHsYR8bamPeXY7Xx_bU61nj2b83EvRU51cg4V0SUXfWLi4E2Q1ljyALdyUESzNT2JKx3M_AU0wmSCpek&sig=AHIEtbSpCpWd2F8m8BQKGtelyzqFr-_hwQ
  15. Tim Thomas Hockey – Hockey Camps, Massachusetts Hockey Camp, Boston Bruins Ice Hockey Goalie, Vermont Summer Camp

External links[]

Preceded by
Timo Pärssinen
Winner of the Kultainen kypärä trophy
Succeeded by
Tony Salmelainen
Preceded by
Timo Pärssinen
Winner of the Lasse Oksanen trophy
Succeeded by
Tony Salmelainen
Preceded by
Jani Hurme
Winner of the Urpo Ylönen trophy
Succeeded by
Miikka Kiprusoff
Preceded by
Dan Ellis
Winner of the Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award
Succeeded by
Tuukka Rask
Preceded by
Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek
Winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy with Manny Fernandez
Succeeded by
Martin Brodeur
Preceded by
Martin Brodeur
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
Succeeded by
Ryan Miller
Preceded by
Jonathan Toews
Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ryan Miller
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
Succeeded by

cs:Tim Thomas de:Tim Thomas (Eishockeyspieler) fr:Timothy Thomas it:Tim Thomas (hockeista su ghiaccio) lv:Tims Tomass pl:Tim Thomas ru:Томас, Тим simple:Tim Thomas (ice hockey) sk:Tim Thomas fi:Tim Thomas sv:Tim Thomas