PRINCETON, N.J.- Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is The MeiGray Group ECHL Alumnus of the Month for November.
The leading distributor of game- worn hockey jerseys and “Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL,” MeiGray sold more than 700 game-worn jerseys in 2010-11 and has sold more than 6,000 since it became “The Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL” in 2002-03.
The 37-year-old was 9-0-0 with three shutouts, a 1.76 goals-against average and a save percentage of .941 in nine appearances for the Bruins in November. Thomas allowed three goals or less in all nine of his starts during the month, and posted back-to-back shutouts, making 23 saves in a 6-0 win on Nov. 19 against the New York Islanders and stopping 33 shots in a 1-0 victory against Montreal on Nov. 21. He made a season-high 40 saves in a 4-2 win against Winnipeg on Nov. 26.
Thomas has appeared in 17 games with Boston this season going 12-4-0 with three shutouts, a 1.93 goals-against average and a save percentage of .936.
The Flint, Mich. native played six games for Birmingham in 1997-98 posting a 4-1-1 record with one shutout, a goals against average of 2.17 and a save percentage of .944 before being called up to the Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League.
He played 93 AHL games over four years with Hamilton and Providence going 44-36-11 with 10 shutouts, a goals-against average of 2.44 and a save percentage of .922.
Selected in the ninth round (217th overall) by Quebec in 1994 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Thomas has played 336 games in eight years in the NHL where he has posted a record of 173-106-44 with 29 shutouts, a 2.47 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. Last season, Thomas set a single-season NHL record with a .938 save percentage, and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender for the second time in three seasons.
During the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Thomas was 16-9 with four shutouts, a 1.98 goals-against average and a save percentage of .940 as the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup since 1972. In the process, he became the first ECHL alum to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There have been 474 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including seven who have made their debut this season and 23 in 2010-11. The ECHL has had 282 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years. There have been 218 ECHL players who have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 31 per year.