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: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 6:51 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

This guy is being very selfish. He gets to visit the White House, some people are not able to do this in their lives, yet decided not even to GO on the trip. This is just a very babyish act.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 6:20 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Who are the GUTLESS COWARDS who won't put their names to the quotes? If you can't put your name too,then shut up. Shame on any reporter who runs with this crap. he should have gone,but typical BOSTON sports, unnamed team sources throw him under the bus(see Terry Francona ). i signed my name.

Sam Wilmot
Amesbury ,Ma.  

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:57 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Yes Tim Thomas can relate to the average American. Just because he made something of himself and now makes money doesn't mean anything. The guy's from Flint Michigan which says it all. You probably don't even know that his parents sold their wedding rings for him to go to goalie camp as a kid so don't think he doesn't know hard times.

Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:46 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Come on boys and girls what is the reason they invited the Bruins to the White House? For their own selfish votes. Their trying to get the bostonian vote. So who is being selfish?? Timmy is sticking up for our country and simply stating that big gvnt (the 1%) is only looking out for its own interests. how much did /romney make lasy year 21million (oh yeah he can really relate with the middle class:) Or how many books has Obama sold and how many houses does he have?? Yeah all of these people can really relate with the 99%
Yes, because I am sure with a $5 million annual salary, Tim Thomas relates to the average American.

Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:40 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

So CSA, you mean the same Commander in Chief who killed Bin Laden and escalated the war in Afghanistan?  You may not agree with his policies but how about a bit of respect for the office.  Or is that only required when it is held by the GOP.

As for Thomas, he's more than welcome to his views; however, this was a team event.  It was not Tim Thomas alone who got the ivite. A real teammate would have put his politics aside for the moment and joined his team.  But, then again, no one has accused Thomas of being a great teammate.  

I also like how the right wing is lauding Thomas for being a good, upstanding American. Has this been an athlete who declined a visit with W because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the same ones praising Thomas would be labeling that person as a traitor and hater of America.

And your Ali argument does not hold water.  Ali was a single man who declined to fight for his country because of his religious beliefs, not skip out on a visit with the President.  Lest we not forget, he was stripped of his titles for his actions.  Don't see anyone coming to take away Thomas' Olympic medal. 

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:32 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Did you just compare Thomas to Ali? Ali faced a possible sentence of up to 5 years in prison, was stripped of his belt, wasn't allowed to fight for 4 years, and was villified by the press. Thomas issued a statement and hid behind his laptop. What's next, Ghandi?

Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:46 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

You have to remember, this is Boston Massachusets. One of the more liberal areas of the country. The Hollywood loons have their agenda and views on conservatives, and believe me, no one bothers them.

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:40 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Ali is touted by sports writers as a hero for not serving in the Vietnam War because it conflicted with his religious liberties. Thomas excercises his personal beliefs about the Coward-in-Chief and he is persecuted. I'm tired of these pansy sports writers like Brian and all the other Odrama arse-kissing douchebags. Way to go Tim Thomas! We need more people like him with conviction that won't just go along with the flow and act like nothing is wrong. Now that would be selfish....

Since: Sep 11, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:00 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Give me a Break , So He Hates Barrack Hussein Obama  . Millions of Americans agree with him and are in the same boat with him , the government is slowing stripping away our freedoms  bit  by bit  .... Orson Welles was Right !

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:54 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

The Liberal Media is Hypacrites , especailly the Boston Globe nothing was mentioned about how when the redsox won the world series in 04 and 07  wonder Dork theo Epstein didn't go to meet Bush , because of his policies and when the Miami Heat won it years back a number of those players did not go either ...

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