Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Panthers' crease became too crowded with Tuesday's re-acquisition of Roberto Luongo, so the Dallas Stars stepped in to acquire veteran netminder Tim Thomas on Wednesday.
Dan Ellis, backup to Kari Lehtonen, will join Luongo in Florida following the one-for-one trade.
The Panthers had also placed backup goalie Scott Clemmensen on waivers Tuesday, and when he cleared at noon, a deal to clear up the goaltender situation became necessary. Clemmensen was assigned to San Antonio of the American Hockey League to make room for Ellis.
Thomas, who was signed to a PTO in mid-September and then inked to a one-year deal just over a week later, went 16-20-3 with a 2.87 goals-against average in 40 games for the struggling Panthers. He had been troubled by groin issues early in the season -- presumably the result of re-adjusting to game action after sitting out the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign -- but rebounded to be a solid presence in net since then.
He'll be a solid addition behind starter Lehtonen, who has a history of nagging injuries.
A two-time Vezina Trophy recipient, three-time All-Star selection and Conn Smythe Trophy winner with the Bruins in 2011, Thomas holds a career mark of 212-141-48 with a 2.51 GAA, .920 save percentage and 31 shutouts for Boston and Florida since 2002.
Ellis departs Dallas with a 5-6-0 record, 3.04 GAA and one shutout this season. The eight-year veteran holds a career mark of 83-71-17, 2.75 GAA and 14 shutouts for the Stars, Predators, Lightning, Ducks and Hurricanes.