Patriot Panther: Thomas signs with Florida

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Updated: 9/26/2013 6:24 pm

Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Tim Thomas has ended his hiatus from hockey, signing with the Florida Panthers.

No terms of the contract were released, but TSN of Canada reported it's a one- year deal worth at least $3 million.

"Tim is a proven winner who we are pleased to have signed," said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon in a statement. "He is a fierce competitor who brings to our club a wealth of experience, including a Stanley Cup Championship, two Vezina trophies and a Conn Smythe. He is a hardworking, driven and dedicated individual who will help our club achieve future success."

Thomas sat out the shortened 2013 season after playing parts of eight years with the Bruins. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender in 2009 and 2011, adding the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in Boston's Stanley Cup championship run during the spring of 2011.

The 39-year-old veteran decided to sit out last year to spend more time with his family. Florida brought him in on a professional tryout contract on Sept. 17.

Thomas was 35-19-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average in 59 games during the 2011-12 campaign with Boston. He was actually traded by the Bruins last February to the New York Islanders in exchange for a draft pick. Reports indicated that the Islanders needed Thomas' salary cap hit to reach the mandated floor of $53 million.

In 378 appearances since 2002, Thomas has compiled a 196-121-45 mark, 2.48 GAA and 31 shutouts in the regular season, also posting a record of 29-21 with a 2.07 GAA and six shutouts in 50 postseason outings.

The Panthers were in need of a goaltender with a veteran presence while Scott Clemmensen recovers from minor knee surgery. Jacob Markstrom was the only healthy netminder in camp with NHL experience.

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