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: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:27 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

If Thomas didn't go to make the point he mention then good on him. The Bruins source is a cowardly piece of garbage for not putting his name to it. It's not like Thomas isn't right about it. All the infighting has done nothing and if both parties can't get together when a counry is facing the worst economic times since the depression then they have their collective heads up their a$$es. More people that are in the public eye should do the same thing.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:01 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

the issue IS the fed gvt...they have destroyed the currency, created never ending debt, and it goes on and on...obama takes away simple rights from the bill of rights through ndaa and other legislation..the media should be talking about how thomas is a true patriot standing up for a restrained, constitutional gvt..ron paul 2012

Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:31 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

he was given the option to go, and didn't go. i don't see anything wrong with it. it's not like the team required him to go.

Since: Feb 18, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:02 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Although this taints Tim Thomas as an American, it has little to do with his goaler abilities.

Tim has just disappointed all teachers, mentors and parents that have been close.  His political views

are his own choice and he should either be thinking carefully of his retirement home (with security guards).

GL Tim      

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:50 pm

"Boycott The Boston Globe"

Time for Boston Fans to Boycott The boston Globe for writing false reports just to get ratings. The writer and paper made up this story to "Punish" Tim Thomas" because of his political beliefs.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:37 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Nobody on the Bruins said this quote. The sports writer made it up for ratings  and because The Globe" is the most liberal paper in the USA. The writer wants to start rumors but  it isn't working as the bruins were out with Thomas the next night LOLOL The Globe" is a comic strip paper.

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:08 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

The quote means nothing. It was just some foul mouthed Bostonian speaking their mind. "F'n selfish bastard" - there. Doesn't mean a thing. 

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:17 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

How can you have resepct for the office when the man in the office has NO respect for America ?
Obama's incompetence is not the issue at hand. Thomas disrespected his team, it doesn't matter if Twinkie the Kid was giving the honor, he should have been there for his team. His placed his own interests ahead of the value of the achievement the Bruins made as a team.

People who are highly individualistic live on an island with mirrors for company and pleasurable company.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:02 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

How can you have resepct for the office when the man in the office has NO respect for America ?

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 6:55 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

CBC this AM discussed his erradic behaviour. At the start of this season (right after the Cup win) amidst a contract dispute apparently he removed all Bruins logos and insignia from his mask and pads and played with blank ones. A few months after winning the Cup, the highest of highs a hockey player can experience, he took that extreme a position....this White House thing comes as no shock. He'll do what he wants but we should pay him no mind. He's a fool, he's self-destructive, let him be that to himself, don't pay any attention to him.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or