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April 27, 2012 | 10:21am ET
Thomas done in Beantown?
TheFourthPeriod.com

Boston's season ended Wednesday night thanks to the Washington Capitals, but the rumors suggesting netminder Tim Thomas had played his last game in Beantown are just starting.

The 38-year-old distinctly used the pronoun "they" -- not "we" -- when discussing his Bruins teammates at multiple points in a media scrum following the heart-breaking loss.

"What it says about our guys is that they're battlers and they're still champions," he told Comcast Sportsnet. "They gave everything they had to the bitter end. Unfortunately this is sports and they fell short this time."

Thomas, who will be entering the final year of his contract next season, could be anticipating a trade as his no-trade clause expires this summer.

If Thomas is deal, the Bruins would hand the starting role over to 25-year-old Tuukka Rask, who is ready to inherit the job.

However, it remains to be seen if a combination of Rask and young netminder Anton Khudobin would be as successful as a goaltending tandem.

Speculation over a possible Thomas trade dates back to earlier this season when he made headlines for snubbing U.S. President Barack Obama during the traditional presidential meeting with the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

In 59 games this season, Thomas registered a .920 save percentage and 2.36 goals-against average, and was only average in the post-season by his own standards.

Moving Thomas and his $5 million cap hit could allow the Bruins to go after potential free agent winger Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils in the off-season.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli will also need to look at his pending free agents. Forward Chris Kelly, who is coming off his best season, is headed to unrestricted free agency as he didn't agree to a contract extension in the season, which could be a priority this summer.

Daniel Paille, Joe Corvo, Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau are also in need of a new contract for next year.

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