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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.

Comments

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:51 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I judge everyone by their politics so Thomas is AOK with me.



Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:59 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Next time, actually look at the situation. Media-colored glasses aren't helping in this situation at all.



Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:40 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

What's important to note here are the values connected with being of the Tea Party - like Mr. Thomas. People who identify themselves as a Tea Party conservatives are in fact isolationists, unconnected with others, not responisble for others and in fact see others as adversaries. Tea Party goers like to call themselves Libertarians - which is a more socially acceptable term for what they really are - Anarchists. Tea Party associates equate freedom with isolationism, 'don't tread on me' means don't come near me or touch me or speak to me unless spoken to. They are quick to shoot at trespassers, they are not their brothers keeper. I find Mr. Thomas' values sad, wrong, regressive, regrettable and in direct conflict with my own - but I will defend to my last breath his right to express them. 



Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:21 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

The people who claim this is a distraction for the team should realize that the team has known Thomas wouldn't be going for months now and it obviously didn't bother them when they were sweeping the month of November so I don't see how it's a distraction now. 



Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:10 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Classless...just like the majority of the team.  Looks good on them.
Nice post TBudai! Seeing you are a Vancouver fan, you should know all about classless. Why don't you go try to burn your city down to the ground again? Now that's classy!



Since: Aug 18, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:23 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I luv that , your the greatest. Keep on it. OWS loves Timmy boy. He is a good american.We can only wish dumbo loses this Nov and for Gods sake Ron Paul gets in. Both partys want the sheeple to believe the ILLUSION that they are two different parties. The sheeple are starting to awakin due to dumbos blatent disregard for anything american. So God willing , this year could be the year that a truely independent wannabe wins the WhiteHouse. We cant afford another 4 years of this corporate ,OWG bullcrap. We need to take back our country. Clean house, Thomas Jefferson  said "every 100 years or so you need a good reYolt to get rid of the traitors and then rope is going to be the hottest items sold. Ya buddy



Since: Aug 18, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:03 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

sweet



Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:36 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Most Of You Have Never Been To Boston with it's liberal media (only California  is worse)  Welfare receipants  get better  benefits than working people.. Especailly that rag the Boston Globe , Thomas is a staunch republican  and did not want to meet  that IDIOT in the White house , like millions of Americans would not want to do ... see the globe  and most  rag blog guys like stubits here did not report it when Theo Epstein did not go to the white house( Twice) when the Red sox   because he was against george bush and how the Miami heat and half of the monkeys on that squad that won the championship did not go because of george bush's policies  it works both ways people , besides Obama has already divided this country worse than Vietnam ever did . most veterans like myself hate his fu%$#in guts . the man would pee his pants and his Dumbo ears would flap like crazy if he ever came across a I.E.D.



Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:18 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Classless...just like the majority of the team.  Looks good on them.



Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:51 am
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

So he starts by stating all his political "problems" with the current administration then says "but its not about politics. Ya, of course it isnt sweetheart. Who does this tard think he is kidding? Teams show up at the White House for ceremonies like this as teams. Its like Keith Olbermann said, its an honor to be asked to the White House by any president/administration. Its one of the most historical monuments of our history. Go put your tin foil hat back on and tune into Glenn Beck stupid. Well. now I will be cheering against Thomas. No offense Bruin fans.


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