SUNRISE — Tim Thomas is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner whose last NHL victory was nearly 18 months ago. Ilya Bryzgalov is getting $23 million from the Flyers to play for someone else.
And the Panthers are interested in both.
With a clear need for depth and experience in net, the Panthers were waiting Wednesday as teams opened training camp to hear if either Thomas or Bryzgalov, both looking for jobs, was interested in attending theirs. The Panthers begin camp with Jacob Markstrom as the front-runner for the starting job after an offseason during which Jose Theodore became a free agent and Scott Clemmensen had arthoscopic knee surgery.
"They're veteran guys that have won, and we're looking at everything," general manager Dale Tallon said. "We're not in a position not to look at anything.
"Obviously, 'Marky' (is) our goalie. But if something happens …we want to make sure we have people in position to fill in and play well and allow us to win when we are banged up."
The Panthers last season had an NHL-worst 15 victories in the lockout-shortened 48-game season. Markstrom had eight of Florida's wins, and his goals-against average of 3.22 was slightly better than Theodore's (3.29) and Clemmensen's (3.67).
In 2011, Thomas helped the Bruins win the 2011 Stanley Cup and was the playoff MVP and voted the league's top goalie. He won 35 games for them the next season, then made the surprising decision to sit out last season. He turns 40 in April and is believed to be looking for a starting job.
In two seasons in Philadelphia, Bryzgalov made perhaps as much news because of his colorful off-ice personality. Philadelphia missed the playoffs last season, then bought out Bryzgalov, who had signed a nine-year, $51 million deal the Flyers ultimately described as a "costly mistake."
Blackhawks: General manager Stan Bowman got a two-year contract extension through 2017-18. No terms were available. Hired in 2009, Bowman, 40, is the league's youngest GM and the first to win multiple Stanley Cups (2010, 2013) since the NHL instituted a salary cap in 2005.
Hurricanes: Defenseman Joni Pitkanen will miss the season as he continues to recover from a broken left heel suffered in an April 2 game against Washington when he raced down the ice in an attempt to beat an icing call.