Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas is set to return to the ice a little over a week after being pulled from the team's third game of the season due to a groin injury. The team announced on Twitter Wednesday that Thomas will play Thursday night against the Boston Bruins, his former team.
It will be his first appearance at home for the Panthers, who signed Thomas to a free agent deal this summer following a one-year sabbatical he took after his contract ran out with Boston in 2012.
The timing could not be better for the Panthers, who had been selling a ticket package dubbed the "Tim Thomas mini plan." It includes tickets to both Panthers home games against Boston along with a ticket to a third home game and a meet-and-greet with Thomas.
Thomas spent eight seasons with the Bruins, beginning in 2002-03. He started 57 regular season games in the Bruins' 2011-12 championship season, leading the NHL with a .938 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average.
He struggled in his first three appearances with the Panthers, allowing 9 goals with a .850 save percentage.
Thomas injured his groin against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 8. "It's been so long since I've had any muscle strain, I just couldn't believe it," Thomas said last week. "I didn't know how to respond to it quickly."
But a little rest seems to have done the trick. A day after the injury Thomas said, "I'm very happy with the progress in less than 24 hours."
The Panthers and Bruins will play Thursday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The first puck will drop at 7:30 p.m.