Steve Thomas was one of the most popular Islanders the past four years. Tonight at Nassau Coliseum, he plays his first game against them since the three-way Oct. 3 deal that sent him to the Devils and brought Wendel Clark to the Islanders.
"I've been on three other teams," Thomas said yesterday from Glen Ridge, N.J., where he recently moved into a new home with his family. "Every time I played the team I was traded from, I always felt I had something to prove to them - just to let them know they made a mistake. I just want to have a good game."
Thomas was a free agent after last season and did not report to training camp, forcing the Islanders to trade him in the deal that sent Claude Lemieux to the Avalanche. Thomas signed a three-year, $4.8-million contract with the Devils. He is playing on a line with Petr Sykora and Bill Guerin. Before last night's home game against Tampa Bay, Thomas had a club-high 17 points.