Thomas joins Panthers on tryout basis

Two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Tim Thomas officially joined the Florida Panthers on a tryout basis Tuesday and was on the ice for his first practice with his new team.

Thomas sat out the shortened 2013 season after playing parts of eight years with the Bruins. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender in 2009 and 2011, adding the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in Boston's Stanley Cup championship run during the spring of 2011.

The 39-year-old veteran decided to sit out last year to spend more time with his family.

"Now I'm energized and I'm looking forward to (playing)," Thomas said after Tuesday's practice. "I feel great."

Thomas was 35-19-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average in 59 games during the 2011-12 campaign with Boston. He was actually traded by the Bruins last February to the New York Islanders in exchange for a draft pick. Reports indicated that the Islanders needed Thomas' salary cap hit to reach the mandated floor of $53 million.

In 378 appearances since 2002, Thomas has compiled a 196-121-45 mark, 2.48 GAA and 31 shutouts in the regular season, also posting a record of 29-21 with a 2.07 GAA and six shutouts in 50 postseason outings.

The Panthers were in need of a goaltender with a veteran presence while Scott Clemmensen recovers from minor knee surgery. Jacob Markstrom was the only healthy netminder in camp with NHL experience.