Tim Thomas, Florida Panthers
To say things did not end well for the two-time Vezina trophy winner in Boston would be an understatement. Thomas had a .967 save percentage against the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, and came up with an epic shutout in Game 7 to help clinch the Cup in Vancouver. But things started to go south for the 2011 Stanley Cup MVP when he decided not to attend a White House ceremony honoring the team.
Next thing you know, the ex-Bruins goaltender decided to sit out the final year of his contract, announcing in June 2012 that he intended to miss the next in order to “reconnect with the three F’s: Friends, Family, and Faith.” He was traded to the New York Islanders in February 2013 though Thomas refused to report and was subsequently suspended by the team. He signed with the Florida Panthers as a free agent this past offseason.
Thomas received a standing ovation when he was introduced at the Garden on Nov. 7. The ex-Bruin was out of the Panthers lineup with an injury that night but when the camera spotted him and a video tribute was played on the big screen, the majority of the Garden faithful stood and cheered for Thomas.
“It was great to be back at the Garden, great to be back in Boston,” Thomas told the Miami Herald after the game in Boston. “I was hoping for that kind of reaction from the fans. I loved playing here. I loved Boston. It was nice to see that response.”