Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who does not intend to play next season, has waived his no-trade clause, general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters Friday in Pittsburgh in advance of Round 1 of the NHL draft.
The clause had been set to expire on July 1, but Thomas waiving it early potentially allows the Bruins to deal him for a 2012 draft pick, or as part of a package that includes picks.
"He has given me a complete waiver of his no-trade clause," Chiarelli said, according to CSNNE.com. "He gave this to me a week and a half ago. In that sense, he's being cooperative if we do decide to trade him. It may not make much of a difference because the no-trade clause is gone at the end of the month."
Chiarelli said "more than a couple" of teams have expressed interest in trading for the 38-year-old two-time Vezina winner.
"There's a category of teams inquiring on him for the cap floor, and then there have been a couple of teams inquiring on him if he's coming back," Chiarelli said, according to CSNNE.com. "I'm telling (Thomas) the same things that I've been telling you guys. If you look at it, it's a $5 million cap hit that people won't have to pay. Based on that there is interest, but there's no rush to get him. But if there's more than one team interested then I'd have to look at that."
Thomas is attractive to teams seeking financial relief because, under the rules, the goalie would count $5 million against the salary cap, yet the team would not need to pay his $3 million salary if he didn't play.
Thomas announced his intentions to sit out the season earlier this month in a post on his Facebook page.
"At the age of 38, I believe it is time to put my time and energies into those areas and relationships that I have neglected," Thomas wrote. "That is why at this time I feel the most important thing I can do in my life is to reconnect with the three F's. Friends, Family, and Faith. This is what I plan on doing over the course of the next year."