Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas' time away from hockey could be nearing an end. According to an NHL source, Thomas' camp is in discussions with multiple teams about a possible contract or professional tryout in training camp.
Interested teams would prefer to get Thomas in on a tryout considering he spent the last year away from hockey with his family, but there may be enough interest in the goalie for him to land a guaranteed deal, likely a one-year veteran contract with bonuses. Thomas' preference is to return as a starter.
A league source told ESPN.com that the Florida Panthers are one of the teams considering Thomas for a tryout. Minor knee surgery for backup Scott Clemmenson increases the urgency in Florida, where Jacob Markstrom is expected to be the No. 1 goalie. The Panthers are already bringing in forward Brad Boyes for a tryout, a source told ESPN.com.
The New York Islanders and Calgary Flames could use upgrades in goal, and Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has a relationship with Thomas that extends to Thomas' playing days in Finland. The Blue Jackets also recently hired Thomas' former agent, Bill Zito, as assistant general manager.
Thomas shocked the hockey world with his decision to put his career on hold following the 2011-12 season, one in which he went 35-19-1 with a .920 save percentage with the Boston Bruins. Along with his two Vezinas, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy after helping lead the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup.
Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside was used in this report.