In somewhat of a surprise move, maybe more from the Dallas Stars perspective, Tim Thomas heads to the Lone Star State in a deal, which will put him behind Kari Lehtonen, as a back-up goalie.
In return for Thomas goes the old back-up goalie for Lehtonen, Dan Ellis, which arguably makes it a back-up for back-up deal.
Thomas hasn't exactly burned up the ice in Florida, only picking up 33 points (16 wins & 1 assist) in 40 appearances this season, but this may give the Stars a little more credibility in goal... on paper, at least.
They may not have been anything wrong with Ellis as the back-up, but the feeling must have been that he isn't starting material that could take over for Lehtonen, if the worst was to happen in the home stretch to the playoffs or in the playoffs. In 14 appearances, mostly relief, Ellis has 13 points and still averaging over a point per 60 minutes played.
Lehtonen is a heavy load starting goalie, so at best, Thomas may be looking at starts on back-to-back nights and maybe those would be limited as well.
There are definitely some implications here, as Thomas will definitely lose minutes and games in this deal, but he was likely going to lose them to Roberto Luongo in Florida anyways. I would think that there is a little more certainty of that in Dallas, as they rely heavily on Lehtonen. This doesn't bode well for Ryan M., who would love nothing more than to pass a couple of players in the standings to make his season a bit more tolerable, since he won't likely finish in the prizes.