Tim Thomas to join Panthers on PTO, according to reports

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Tim Thomas is expected to join the Florida Panthers on a professional tryout contract.

Unrestricted free agent goaltender Tim Thomas is expected to join the Florida Panthers on a professional tryout contract, according to multiple reports on Monday morning.

TSN's Bob McKenzie was the first to report the news, which was immediately confirmed by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. As of this writing, nothing has officially been announced but McKenzie tweeted that the Panthers are working out the final insurance issues to allow Thomas to join the team.

Thomas decided to take off the entirety of the 2013 season, citing a desire that he could focus on components of his life away from his profession. Officially under contract with the Boston BruinsThomas waived his no-trade clause in February so that the team could send him to the New York Islanders. He never reported to the team,however, which would have permitted the Islanders to roll his contract to the 2013-14 season (they opted not to do so).

The 39-year-old goaltender intended to return to the NHL this season as a starting goaltender, but available spots proved limited.

The Panthers emerged as a club interested in a goalie as backup Scott Clemmensen will miss time after undergoing a minor procedure. Thomas' agent, Markus Lehto, initially stated that Thomas was not interested in becoming a backup goaltender. Most believe Jacob Markstrom will be the Panthers starting goaltender this season.

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