Once an Oiler, Always an Oiler – Tim Thomas

Still reeling from the cancellation of Seinfeld and looking forward to the release of Mulan (Disney, 1998) on this day in history, June 4th, 1998, the Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Tim Thomas.

Fresh off his Finnish SM-Liiga championship winning performance with a shiny .947 save percentage, the Oilers had high hopes for Thomas. At the ripe age of 24-years-old, he was setting the world ablaze overseas and looked to be able to transform his numbers into North American success. Thomas would only start for the Oilers AHL affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs fifteen times in the following year before he was returned to Finland and his former team HIFK. He would lead HIFK to another finals appearance, just coming up short against the champions TPS.

Thomas would go onto play a season in Detroit with the Vipers of the now-defunct IHL before being picked up by the Bruins. He would exact a bit of revenge in his first ever start at the NHL level in a game against the Oilers, a 4-3 win with 31 saves to show for his efforts.

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Thomas would go onto win the Stanley Cup with those same Boston Bruins in 2011 and was named the Conn Smythe trophy in that same season. After another deep playoff run the following year, Thomas would announce on Facebook that he was taking a year off of hockey. His career never recovered.

Sometimes Oilers history is a strange place, isn’t it?

  • Dan 1919

    One of the best individual player playoff performances I can remember in a while, was his cup run.

    As for his “stance”. I found his ignorance of his own entitled and pretension attitude to be so rediculous it was entertaining. He became a millionaire in our society by playing a game. At which point his millions of dollars enlightened him so much that he thought it necessary to redicule and condemn that very society that afforded him an opportunity most would love to have. But go on Tim, tell me more about how hard done by you are that you would profess and become the center of attention during what should be a TEAM celebration, not a Tim pitty party. I’m not left wing frivolous spending supporter, but call me old fashion; if someone wants to go through the effort of throwing me a party and congratulating me on an accomplishment, I keep my mouth shut, show up, and say thanks, regardless if it’s the president or old Betty down the street.

  • Max

    Piece of info I’d never heard about. Had no idea he was an Oiler. I really liked him when the Bruins beat Canucks in the 2011 final – who wouldn’t, but he proved to be a wing nut, dingbat, space cadet and several other things I could call him. It’s a pity that all that talent was given to someone who had no cue about anything relevant.