Tim Thomas signs in Florida, Brian Gionta returns from injury (and other links)

Your collection of fine links for this morning.

Tim Thomas has officially signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers that, due to bonuses, will eat up $3.75 million of Florida's cap space in 2013-2014. Although this number may seem high at first glance, some digging into goaltender cap hits and the 39 year-old's performance indicate otherwise.

On the performance side of the ledger, among goaltenders that have logged at least 100 starts from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013, Tim Thomas has the highest even strength save percentage (0.934) of any NHL goalie. Meanwhile, the $3.75 million cap hit gives the Flint, Michigan native the 21st highest goaltender number in the league. This is below the $4.421 million average hit for number one netminders (number one as indicated on Rotowire's depth charts), but above the average $2.917 million hit by goaltenders 35 and older. Although it is important to note that fourth ranked (0.930 EV S%) and equally ancient Tomas Vokoun signed for $2 million heading into 2012-2013, I still think Thomas' deal is reasonable. This assumes, of course, that Boston's defense did not skew Timmy's numbers to invalidity and that he can play at a reasonably high level after fucking off for a year.

With that meandering take out of the way, here are your links for the day.

Montreal Canadiens News and Analysis

Add Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta's names to the list of 24 players that registered a point in the team's seven preseason matches. With a 3-3-1 record and goal differential of 0 (22 GF, 22 GA), Montreal's preseason results are admittedly mediocre, but that's no reason to fret. We're 4 days out from a new season, with no more fake hockey to pretend to care about. Life's good!

Apart from the official news that Michael Bournival and Jarred Tinordi will start the season with the Montreal Canadiens, there's not much roster news to report. Below is some nonsense I've culled together.

Here's a picture of Tomas Plekanec being kissed by a seal.

Here's a bizarre incident from last year in which Tomas Plekanec cross checked Daniel Briere in the back of the head.

Here's a picture of Montreal beat writer John Lu's new Pac Man bow tie.

EA Sports' NHL 14 simulation has Montreal beating Detroit in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

General News and Analysis

Denis Brodeur, former official photographer for the Montreal Canadiens, Olympic medalist, and father to Martin Brodeur, has passed away at the age of 82. One can only hope to live as awesome a life and be remembered as fondly as Mr. Brodeur seems to be. Our condolences to the Brodeur family.

Michael Parkatti dives deep into the NHL's historical record to define, gauge the impact, and chart the evolution of the goon. From the revelation that goon culture was born in the mid-1980s and peaked in 2004, to the intriguing "localized arms race" hypothesis, the idea that rival franchises employ comparable numbers of goons to match one another, there's a lot of great stuff here for stats and history geeks alike.

According to a report by Chris Stevenson of QMI agency, some coaches are upset with the NHL and its decision to fine Buffalo coach Ron Rolston for player selection.

Bill Daly, the only deputy commissioner in the NHL's 97-year history, has realized his dream to practice sports law and has had a pretty interesting career overall. Christopher Botta did a profile on Daly for the Sports Business Journal.

Cam Neely has reportedly signed on to reprise his role as Sea Bass in the pending Dumb and Dumber sequel. In light of this, Milan Lucic wants to play Sea Bass' son. There must be a joke in here somewhere.

Paul Romanuk sits down with Taylor Crosby to talk about her Olympic aspirations, her approach to netminding, and her relationship with big brother Sidney.

NBC Sports Network will bolster their NHL coverage with two new, aptly named shows. NHL Rivals will look at prominent NHL rivalries, while NHL Top 10 will cover the "bests" in hockey. Look for these programs to launch on October 9th and 10th.

John Fontana of Raw Charge makes the case that the Tampa Bay Lightning are building, rather than rebuilding or retooling. He also notes that Tampa has two giant goaltenders, Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, who are expected to share the goaltending load for the immediate future.

Vladimir Putin has Alex Ovechkin's digits and they have actually spoken on the blower.

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