This week Tim Thomas was named as one of the finalists for the Vezina Trophy and he would be the favourite to win. That is quite an accomplishment for goalie who just turned 35 and was a NHL rookie at age 31. It was a long 12 year journey for Thomas who was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 9th round (#217 overall) back in 1994.
He has played in 5 different leagues including the Finnish League (HIFK Helsinki, Karpat, Jokerit Helsinki), the East Coast Hockey League (Birmingham), International Hockey League (Houston, Detroit), American Hockey League (Providence, Hamilton), and Boston in the NHL. Give him a gold star for perseverance.
In his first full season in the AHL he was already 28 years old and statistically unspectacular with a G.A.A of 2.87 and Save% of .906. Who back then thought he would make the NHL let alone a Vezina Trophy candidate.
Which brings me to Justin Pogge. It sounds like pretty much everyone has written this guy off - Leaf management, the fans, the media, maybe his own mom. But statistically he isn't much different than Thomas 5 or 6 years ago. If it was too early to write off Thomas at 30 then just maybe we should wait for Pogge to develop. Afterall he just turned 23.