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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 25, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:51 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

You're kidding right?

And what was the reason to bring the Bruins to the White House? Politics, period.

Stand up for what's right. Don't shake the hand of someone who is destroying this country from it's foundation.

I'm a huge Sabre fan but Tim Thomas is now someone I respect for the type of person he is.

Grow a spne and actually step out and do what's right sometime. It won't make the idiots happy around you but it will define who yoy are in life...

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:39 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Dumber than a sack of hockey pucks! There's nothing political about receiving congrats from the prez for winning your sporting championship. There are places and times to discuss or forward your political beliefs - this was not one of them, and it's disrespectful to your teammates and to the office of the presidency.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:40 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Are the people so stupid as to miss that the media "outrage" over Thomas is coming from the Boston Globe?  That newspaper is virtually an arm of the Democratic Party.  The same paper, 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.

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:09 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

The "honouring" of a successful sportsteam by the President is itself a political event, designed as much to give positive spin to the President as it is to honour the team, so anyone claiming this is an attempt to politicise the apolitical is I fear a little naive, to put it mildly. In any democratic country, anyone is free to turn down such an invitation - and I fail to see how it is in any way damaging to the team. The team solidarity is built on the rink in games, not at events like this. Thomas is entitled to his own opinions and like many I would fight to the death to preserve this privelege. I do not particularly care what his political stance is, as that is between him and a ballot box. If he ever tries to stand for office, then it becomes relevant to others. Until then, he is entitled to his opinions like all others, he is entitled to attend or not attend such events, and it is not his fault if the media choose to report it and blow it out of all proportion.

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:37 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Tim Thomas should take a bow.  and he is 100% correct about both parties being to blame.   

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."  - George Orwell

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:26 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

     My personal take on this matter is it doesn't matter whether you are on the same side of the political fence as the president or the opposite, the polite thing to do is accept the invitation and attend.  And I say that whether your beliefs are conservative, centrist, or liberal.  If anything, you get a chance to see a lot of history in the White House.

     I am not putting down Thomas here; he is free to make the choice he wishes.  That is the beauty of this country- you can decline an invitation from its most powerul individual without fear of reprisal.  Just one man's opinion. 

Since: Apr 30, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:16 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

This whole thing is about politics, (this story would have not had such legs if it weren't) This guy is being ridiculed for his political beliefs and nothing more (no matter what people say) Lot's of media people with agendas at work here, dragging out a story that should be over now.

If we learned anything from this, it's that if you don't show up to the white house while a republican is in office , it's a-ok. But if it's a liberal , then you're dissrepecting the office. In the last two days, I've read elitest comments like "misinformed goaltender" "wingnut" "stupid" all describing Thomas. No mention of all the liberal athletes and celebs that stood up the previous President.

My take is that you should still go, put the politics aside and be there for your team. But I also see the ridiculous hypocrisy of the liberal mentality. They spent eight years dissrespecting the office with their "village lost an idiot stickers" "Bush lied people died" comments.

Liberals are just as bad as all the crap they accuse conservatives of. They are closed minded just like conservatives, The only difference is, they pretend not to be.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:49 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Flutu Shinzawa isn't that a gay bar. Or is that just the name of a Fucking jerk trying to make headlines. Further more if it is true the jerks that said that will find themselves playing in Toronto and never seeing the playoffs again in their careers. I say trade them and then sick Scott Luch and big Z after them.

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:42 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Thomas is A-O-K,with what he did,he has the right to do as he pleases,because America stands for freedom to do what ever you wish.People fought and died so people can do what they wish,but some people don't think that,it's no big deal to visit the white house because there's nothing worth seeing their.(it's just another building hiding the truth from the true Americans).???

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:00 am

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Maybe Mr. Thomas should see his local USMC recruiter..Corps could always use a good shot stopper in Afghanistan..yep,.go with your teamates..respect the office if not the person running it!!

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