Born in Stockport, England, Steve Thomas would star in the OHL as a member of the Toronto Marlboros and, after scoring 51 goals in the 1983-84 season, would sign as an undrafted free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Steve would spend a majority of the 1984-85 season with Toronto’s AHL affiliate in St. Catharines and amassed an impressive 42 goals & 48 assists for 90 points in 64 games. He was named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team, won the Dudley “Red” Garrett Award as the AHL’s top rookie and earned his first call-up to the Maple Leafs for an 18 game stint where he’d score his first NHL goal. He began the 1985-86 season back in the AHL but after tallying 32 points in 19 games, Steve would earn a permanent call-up to the Maple Leafs and finished his rookie season in the NHL with 57 points in 65 games and 14 points in 10 playoff games.
Thomas went on to have a successful sophomore season with the Blue & White but was traded along with Rick Vaive & Bob McGill to the Chicago Blackhawks for Al Secord & Ed Olczyk prior to the 1987-88 season. While his first two seasons in Chicago were cut short due to injuries, Steve would spend parts of 5 seasons with the Blackhawks and was a key offensive contributor when he was in the lineup: 198 points in 231 games. Early in the 1991-92 season, Steve was traded to the New York Islanders and his offensive production continued to blossom. While in New York, Steve would have his most productive NHL season when he scored 37 goals & added 50 assists for 87 points in 1992-93. As a follow up, Steve would score a career high 42 goals during the 1993-94 season.
Just prior to the 1996-97 season, Thomas was traded to New Jersey and spent two seasons with the Devils before returning to Toronto as a free agent for his second tour of duty with the Maple Leafs. In Toronto, Steve regained his scoring touch and helped lead the Leafs to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999. After two more seasons in Toronto, he would return to the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of two seasons before a trade deadline deal landed him with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Although he was 40 years old, Thomas turned into a key addition for the Ducks and helped lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals that spring. He became a free agent after the playoff run and signed with the Detroit Red Wings a month into the 2003-04 season. He made 44 regular season appearances for the Red Wings and scored at a half point per game pace as a 41 year old in his final NHL season. In total, Steve Thomas played in 1235 NHL regular season games and produced 421 goals & 512 assists for 933 points and 1306 penalty minutes.