Much like race horses, all hockey players share the same birthday...at least for contract purposes. It turns out that the NHL determines a players age for a given season for contract purposes based on that player's age on June 30th.
Tim Thomas was under age 35 when he signed his contract but he will turn 35 before June 30th, meaning that he will be considered to be age 35 at the time he signed his contract. This means that the Bruins will have to take the full cap hit for Thomas' contract for all four years even if he is bought out or retires.
So, this begs the question: why did the Bruins feel the need to get this deal done now? Most teams would not want the distraction of contract negotiations involving their starting goaltender just weeks before the playoffs. Did Peter Chiarelli really not know that Thomas would be considered to be 35 or older?
This means that the Bruins gave Tim Thomas 4 guaranteed years for a total of $20 million against the cap with a no trade clause for the first 3 years of the 4 year deal. Don't get me wrong, I think Tim Thomas has earned this pay day but I don't understand giving him 4 years at age 35. I have doubted Tim Thomas in the past and he has always proved me wrong. Prove me wrong again, Timmy.
So with Timmy on the hook for a minimum of 3 years things are not looking good for Tuukka Rask. Or for that matter the Bruins with the cap figure being 5 mil a year.