Blog Entry

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: May 21, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:23 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

actions speak louder than words ... good for him..i wouldn't have went either
..the president doesnt care about the people so why should anyone have to care about him

.. we believe in what we want to believe and we are free to not do what we don't want to
.. and if the president takes it personally.... he should

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:18 pm

made up quote LOL

The writer made up the quote from an "unamed source"   he writes for the Boston Globe where  you are not allowed to attend any Republican function in the job application. there you have it LOL  This is a non-hockey issue after Thomas wins his next few games and continues to be the most clutch goalie in the NHL

Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:18 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I met Tim Thomas at the NHL store in NYC when the NHL was hosting a program for hockey teams with special needs kids/players in the tri-state area.  He was an awesome guy and a true gentleman.  As long as he keeps the respect of his teamates and his coaches and he keeps playing like the all-star he is, this is a non-issue.    T
he guy is entitled to his own political beliefs.  He clearly loves his country, is passionate about politics and he stands up for his beliefs.  We need more Americans like that irrespective of political allegiences.  GO RANGERS!!!

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:04 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I knew it


Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:46 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I didn't really have much of an issue with Timmy stiffing the President til I read that he'd like to have lunch with Glenn Beck. Then I realized that the Bruin goalie has much more deeper mental issues than just trying to make a statement against the federal government. Come on! Glenn Beck?

Since: Feb 21, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:40 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

He'll go next year when they win it again!

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:36 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Meh.  Another example of under-talented word processor hacks trying to make something out of nothing.

"Team source".  Great -- the team lesser-suit or the team skate sharpener felt offended because their fan Barry got some bad press by Timmy.

So what?  The Bruins won't go into the tank because of this.  Obama's approval rating didn't drop.  Some executive got butt-hurt -- which in my mind is likely a good thing.  Those idiots take themselves way too seriously any way...

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:30 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Agreed- this extra 15 minutes of fame is up.  Everyone knew Tim Thomas is a religious nutjob and devotee of Glenn Beck.  That's his right to persue such views, up to and including failure to attend a dog-and-pony show at the White House to celebrate the Bruins Stanley Cup victory seven months ago.  The bottom line is that Thomas is a good goalie, and has the respect of his teammates and coaches.  Anyone wanting to read more into it is welcome to do so, but the NHL season moves onwards throught the All-Star Game and trade deadline.  No one will remember any of these events in another year.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:04 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Who cares, who cares, who cares, WHO CARES... He made his choice, which is his to make.  It's a less than 10 minute thing over ones entire life.  He has his opinions and he's entitled to them.  Better than parking your butt on a lawn somewhere for weeks on end.  Everyone is selfish in their own way, get over it, he has.

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:24 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Chalk it up to goalies being goalies (or Timmy being Timmy, in this case) and move on, I have little doubt the players will.

I think it's safe to say it will be a distraction for quite some time, especially off the ice in Boston.   I think it's a question of how the players react and handle the distraction.   Fortunately for the players, I think the front office has done a great job getting out in front of this and that should deflect most of the chatter until the buzz dies down a bit.    I don't think it will effect TT's play.

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