Tim Thomas was struggling to get ice time in the minors. So the young goalie returned $75,000 of his signing bonus to the Edmonton Oilers a decade ago for a chance to play in Finland.
That amount “was a huge deal at the time,” the NHL’s leading goalie said Saturday. “I just basically made the decision that I needed to play.”
Now he has a new four-year contract with the Boston Bruins worth a reported $20 million.
“That’s a good investment, isn’t it?” general manager Peter Chiarelli said with a smile. “The rate of return on that’s pretty good.”
One day after the Bruins announced the deal and less than three hours before they played the New York Rangers, Thomas was happy with the latest milestone in his long climb.