It turns out Tim Thomas meant what he said about taking a year off.
The former Boston Bruins goaltender could be on his way back to the NHL next season, after his agent - Bill Zito - tweeted "Tim Thomas has asked me to explore possible options for next season."
Thomas took a year-long break from his NHL career over the 2012-13 season after a tumultuous 2011-12 in Boston.
The 39-year-old was a media favourite during his last NHL campaign, often finding the spotlight for expressing his personal political beliefs on Facebook.
He stated his intention to take a year-long break from hockey mid-way through the 2011-12 season and confirmed his intention to take a year off in June of 2012.
The Bruins would suspend Thomas for not reporting to training camp in 2013 and would later trade his rights were traded in the middle of the 2012-13 season to the New York Islanders for a conditional draft pick.
Because Thomas was over 35, the final year of his contract still counted towards the Bruins' salary cap, leaving Boston on the hook for the $5 million cap hit he would have carried in 2012-13.
He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.
Thomas was originally selected in the ninth round (217th overall) of the NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques. He has appeared in 378 career games, all with the Bruins. He has a 196-121-45-31 career record with a .921 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average.
A four-time NHL All-Star, Thomas won the Vezina Trophy in 2009 and 2011. He backstopped the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.