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Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:41 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 3:30 pm
Thomas had a chance to be heard and he took it. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The biggest non-news story of the hockey season -- the defending champions visiting the White House and meeting the President of the United States -- is mushrooming into one of the bigger stories this season. Sadly, that might not be hyperbole based on the latest reports out of Boston.

By now you surely know about Tim Thomas' decision to not join his teammates on their trip to the White House. He instead chose to skip it as a protest to what he later revealed in his Facebook statement is the ever-expanding reach of the federal government. It ignited a wildfire that's leading people to thinking some awfully irrational things.

First, here is what is being said from within the Bruins organization, outside of their public statements. From Fluto Shinzawa at the Boston Globe:

It was Timmy being Timmy.

“[Expletive] selfish [expletive]," one team source said.

But that's not the view from everybody. Milan Lucic was on the record saying it didn't bother him and Shinzawa reported two team sources didn't believe Thomas' decision would have any negative effects in the locker room, it's par for Timmy's course.

Sounds pretty similar to another player in Boston sports (Manny Ramirez, anyone?) In the case of Ramirez, the Red Sox put up with his antics for some time before he was eventually pushed out of town.

Could that actually be a possibility for Thomas? After all, as Shinzawa writes (and makes clear with Timmy being Timmy) he is a bit of a lone wolf. He's a goaltender, and you know it's OK to categorize every goalie out there as a wackjob.

The answer is maybe, according to Shinzawa.

Thomas’s decision, however, may be the first step in goalie and team parting ways. His no-movement clause expires at the conclusion of this season. Thomas has one more season remaining on his four-year, $20 million contract. Rask, a restricted free agent at year’s end, should be ready to assume the starting job in 2012-13.

Now you know this story is getting out of hand. Look, I'd understand trading Thomas from a hockey perspective. I think it would be a mistake and would be stupid, but I understand it. He's up there in age at 37, his value is still incredibly high and Tuukka Rask has proven to be more than capable. The hockey aspect makes sense ... except when you remember that Thomas is arguably still the best in the world and can lead the Bruins to back-to-back Stanley Cups this season. Don't forget that little aspect of the equation.

I haven't understood this whole soap opera at any point. I've seen people complaining that Thomas decided to politicize an event that wasn't about politics. The way I see it, this was the most political thing any of the Bruins players have done in their careers. It's certainly more political than all the time they spend playing games, practicing or traveling. Should he instead have had a grandstanding session after a November shutout in the locker room? He was presented with a chance to make a political statement and he took it.

Further, I'd argue that this didn't take away from the Bruins' day at the White House at all. What this Thomas story did is actually make people remember that the Bruins visited the White House period. It's an event that is a photo op where the honoring from the president lasts literally less than 10 minutes. A lot of people have no idea that the St. Louis Cardinals just had the same honor a week ago. It was hardly news.

But now? Oh, everybody knows the Bruins visited the White House as the reigning champions. This whole saga has only shined a brighter light on the visit.

There are others that don't care what Thomas has to say about politics, he's just a hockey player. I see that all the time and it irritates me to no end. So because somebody is an athlete they can't have their own ideologies? The difference between Thomas and that neighbor of yours who litters his yard with political signs is that Thomas has a bigger platform. He wanted to get a message across and he did it.

I don't know who the source was that so eloquently called Thomas selfish, obviously. But I'd bet that even that person wouldn't want Thomas off the team. I was in the locker room with the Bruins last night, we in the media saw Thomas walking around munching on a postgame snack and going into the changing area with the other players. He didn't appear to be in any kind of awkward state of avoidance.

I can't see how this becomes a seriously divisive issue as some make it out to be. Are the other guys going to be so upset that they stop playing in front of Thomas and hinder their own goal of repeating as champs? Or might it be a distraction with the team and Thomas being asked about it?

Doubtful. Thomas is a strong-willed person, that's evident. He said in his Facebook statement that this was the only thing he was going to say on the whole fiasco. That's it. When he is eventually asked by the media, you already know he is going to defiantly say he's not talking about it. That will be that.

So Thomas has a bit of a selfish side and this let it be seen to the rest of the world. So what? Chalk it up to goalies being goalies (or Timmy being Timmy, in this case) and move on, I have little doubt the players will.

In the meantime, I'm left wondering how many write-in votes Thomas will get in this year's presidential election because you just know he'll get some.

More from Eye on Hockey

B's hit break on slump by their standards
Thomas explains decision to skip White House
Bruins honored in visit to White House

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:23 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

The ONLY reason it is an issue is because the media is making it one.  Tim Thomas is not the only athlete to pass on a visit to the White House to meet a president.  He won't be the last either.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:21 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Not sure what is worse at the moment, the White House or this terrible article.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:19 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I rarely agree with starblazer but the response to espyvinny beat me to the punch.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:18 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Wow, I suddenly like Tim Thomas. Kudos for you standing up (or sitting out) for what you believe. After hearing that hypocritical SoA address I dont blame him!!!

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:16 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

The president is a commie f--- elected by a nation of morons.  Props to Thomas for making a statement.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:03 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Canada = the promised land
Yeah, for about 30 million people who all want to be American(ok, except the Quebecers).

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I would expect a lack or issues, with the team being built full of Canadians and a few Europeans.  Just cause one American is taking his politics personally, does not mean that 90% non-Americans on the team would care.  People purposely don't go to the White House on purpose, invite or not anyways.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:01 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Who disrespected the office,not the man,it`s that Thomas himslef said he admires GLENN BECK and a bunch of old white slave owners from centuries ago.They call them the "founding fathers" or something.The way he talks about those old slave owners from centuries ago, you`d think they were Mother Teresa or smething.Au contraire.They owned HUMANS and treated them like animals ! And he "admires" them.And now,one of those descendants of a race that was once a slave is in the Whitehouse.And Thomas IS American.Hmmmmm
The dumbest post ever. The founding fathers were men of great knowledge and depth. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Adams shaped the direction of a fledgling country and made it the beacon of freedom.To dispute that is utter folly and just shows the absolute lack of understanding of history.

John Adams was an abolitionist, as was his wife. Jefferson took great care of his slaves and freed them upon his death. Jefferson also wrote the Declaration of Independence which along with the Magna Carta and US Consititution, is among the greatest documents ever written. Ben Franklin invented electricity among other inventions and was one of the wisest political and social minds ever. Washington's leadership allowed the country to survive it's early years and set the tone for future leaders. Washington was the Augustus of America.I cannot give him higher praise than that.

These geniuses were steeped in Greco-Roman thought. They studied: Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Cicero and Virgil among others. They were men of the Enlightenment having studied Hume, Hobbs, Voltaire and JS Mill among others. Those were among the greatest political/social philosophers ever.

Your slandering of them illustrates your lack of understanding of the time period, their depth of knowledge and thought, plus the fact they started a revolution which swept through France and eventually much of Europe. These were teh greatest Americans who ever stepped foot on this great land. Disrespecting them is despicable and revisionist, only illustrating the fact your knowledge of this subject is lacking to say the least and flat out embarrassing to say the most.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:53 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Of course he has the right to make a gesture of this kind. But that doesn't mean he's not a jerk for doing it.

Should he instead have had a grandstanding session after a November shutout in the locker room?

Uh, yeah, something like that would be the general idea, at least if you consider any public speech on politics to be "grandstanding".  As Chris Therien said last night, let him go with his teammates, and then write a column in the Boston Globe or something, on his own time.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:51 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

obviously the only rational thing to do is to trade him to the Canucks for Roberto Loungo......

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