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Could Vezina Honor Earn Thomas Some Endorsements?

April 27, 2009: Even Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins admits that people outside of Boston regard him as a backup goalie. A quick visit to official NHL player sites explains why: He entered the each of the past two season with Boston having to earn his starting job, he was drafted in in 1994 in the 9th round (217 overall) by Quebec but didn't earn his first NHL shutout until 2005-06, and has spent part of his career in Finland. Now he might get some more respect from NHL marketers after being playing in two consecutive All-Star Games and now being named one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender for 2008-09, along with Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild and rookie Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The winner will be unveiled at the NHL awards show in Las Vegas on June 18. The 35-year-old Thomas led the NHL with a 2.10 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage for the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins, which just swept the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Earlier this month he signed a new multi-year contract with the team that runs through 2012-13, with a boost in pay from $1.1 million per year to $20 million over the next four, according to the Boston Herald. Backstrom played in 71 games for the Wild and was among the top five goaltenders in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. He also set a franchise record with 37 victories. Mason helped the Blue Jackets reach the playoffs for the first time. Back to Home Page