A hard-working, right-winger with good speed and a quick release, Steve Thomas entered the league in 1984-85, he became one the most consistent scorers in the game with nine 20-goal seasons to his credit.
Born in Stockport, England, Thomas starred in the MTHL with the Markham Waxers and in the OHL with the Toronto Marlboros. After scoring 51 goals for the Marlies in 1983-84, the talented sniper was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs. During his first pro season, he scored 42 goals for the St. Catharines Saints of the AHL and was placed on the league's First All-Star Team. He also won the Dudley "Red" Garrett Award as the top rookie in the AHL.
After starting the 1985-86 season in the AHL, Thomas was recalled to the Leafs and scored 57 points in 65 games. That spring, he scored 14 points in the post-season as Toronto came within a game of reaching the semi-finals. After scoring 35 goals and helping Toronto reach the second round of the playoffs in 1987, Thomas was sent to Chicago with Rick Vaive for Al Secord and Ed Olczyk.
Thomas battled injuries his first two years with the Hawks before scoring 40 goals in 1989-90. In October 1991, he joined the New York Islanders in a trade and helped the club upset the Pittsburgh Penguins while reaching the semi-finals in 1993. Thomas set a career high with 42 goals in 1993-94 but slipped to eleven goals during the lockout-shortened season. Prior to the 1995-96 season, he joined the New Jersey Devils where his lower goal totals reflected the defensive system employed by his new club.
In July 1998, the veteran winger was lured back to Toronto as a free agent. He scored 73 points under Pat Quinn's free flowing system and helped the Leafs reach the semi-finals. After a slow start in 1999-00, he rebounded to score 26 times, but he notched only eight goals in 57 games the next year. A strong post-season in 2001 was not enough to convince the Toronto brass to re-sign him, so Thomas relocated to Chicago for the 2001-02 season and the better part of 2002-03 season before the team traded him to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the latter stages of the season.
Upon his arrival with the Ducks, Thomas was a key contributor to the team's late season success and their drive to the Stanley Cup final. Although the Ducks lost in seven games to the New Jersey Devils, Thomas solidified himself as a valuable asset to the team.
After the Ducks opted not to re-sign the veteran forward, Anaheim's lost was the Detroit Red Wings gain, as the team signed Thomas as a free-agent in the early stages of the 2003-04 season. Thomas would compete in 44 games with the Red Wings in 2003-04 and following the NHL lockout he would try out for the Toronto Maple Leafs only to be cut before start of the season.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame