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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: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:53 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Red Sox won in 04 and 07. GM Theo Epstein didn't attend either one @ the Bush White House because of political differences. No outrage, no big story from the Globe. 

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:51 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

LOL,  hope he boycotts Montreal next.  "I don't speak French so you won't want me anyway."

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:49 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Every City Hates Black People Except Memphis They Hate White People ,because that City is all Black   hahaha  Doubt his teammates give a flying shit Corvo and Thomas are the only Americans on the Bruins they are almost all Canadians

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:39 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Boston hates black people. Tongue out

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:24 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Hey KenValpoJD, don't just do  a Timmy and issue a broad stereotypical statement and not back it up with anything...give us an example of when this happened.

I'd like to know, really.

I'm sure there are a few.  i think some guy from nascaar did somthing similar but a famous one is Ertha Kitt to LBJ over Vietnam.... although she went after being invited but when she got there she went off the president in public view in front of everyone. 

so was she selfesh and an ass for doing that or was she right to say something at an event that had nothing to do politics?  i think they were both true americans for doing what they did and they were both right.

i dislike the current and past president, i didn't vote for ether one, nor would i shake ether one's hand.  you see the right and the left come round full circle and meet up when they tell the other side what they can and can't do.  passing laws along the way that benifit those who dump money to them.

pols on both sides can't even govern thier own lives what makes them fit to govern me?    

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:07 pm

Washington is selfish and the 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%

What a joke. And for all you reporters grow some and start really writing about news instead of tipping toeing around everything. Your all a bunch of selfish and ignorant class of reporters. If this was the 20's or 30's you wouldn't even have a job! Too soft.

Since: Oct 15, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:39 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Tim's reason for not going to the White House doesn't make any sense. He is protesting that the federal government is too big?? Tim, regardless of the size of the federal government, the United States will still have a President and that President will still live in the White House. So obviously there was a political motivation or some other motivation regardless of what his statement on FaceBook said. It was about the President of the US honoring the Boston Bruins( a team from the US) for winning the Stanely Cup. He should have been there for his teammates and the organization that pays his salary instead of making it about some point he wanted to make.

Since: Oct 15, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:18 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

It is obvious that this guy is selfish...If he was really strong concerning his convictions then what better place to be than at the white house where he could tell the president ecactly how he felt as an AMERICAN CITIZEN....

I am so tired of people saying how bad this is or that is and offer no suggestions to change...Stop being a part of the problem and become a part of the solution....

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:03 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

if a player with liberal views refuses to go to the White House during a Republican presidency, routinely praises the player's "courage" and preaches sanctimoniously about how dissent is the highest form of patriotism.  Take the Globe, and put it on a roll in the smallest room in your house.
Hey KenValpoJD, don't just do  a Timmy and issue a broad stereotypical statement and not back it up with anything...give us an example of when this happened.

I'd like to know, really.

...and if there really is a case, they'd be just as wrong in my  eyes.

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:55 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

At the risk of talking hockey here on the pol page, do you really think he's 'arguably the best in the world" ?

I'm not saying that he's not a good goalie. For sure to start in thr NHL you gotta be good. I'm sayin that good goalies on good teams that play good defense win games that not so great goalies can win too.

Show me Timmy stopping the volume of shots that Luongo faced in Florida, or Bryzgalov in Phoenix,  and it'd be easier for me to agree that he's one of the best. But not THE.

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