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: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:25 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Why is it OK for people like Bono, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, and George Clooney to take every opportunity possible to talk about politics, but once a goalie does it, it is trashed on??? Rock stars and actors have a venue and they use it. Goalies should be no different.

 Thomas wasn't trashing on Obama. He was trashing politics in general. And, after the trillions of dollars of taxpayer money wasted by giving a handout to the banks, I don't blame him.
  Timmy didn't sit out a game, or occupy wall street, or anything dumb like that. He just didn't think it was such an honor to be greeted by the white house and the president when the economic state of the USA and the planet is in shambles, while congressman, presidents (an ex-presidents) are legally allowed to insider trade, give theselves raises, and spend millions on themselves in 'expenses'. The greed and corruption in politics is sickening, which wouldn't be so horrible if they actually increased the quality of life for Americans (then you could at least justify it by saying they earned it). But, giving trillions away to banks who robbed the nation blind by shorting mortgage backed securities is hardly helping people out.

 So, good for Thomas. It wasn't selfish and it wasn't detrimental to the team. I wish more people would stand up and stell it like it is. HEY, Thomas is rich and he still thinks the government is hosing the average person, so people should applaud him. He is, in essence, sticking up for his fans. IMHO    

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:24 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Did not read you here when the Bushes were in the WH!

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:22 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

"Obama is a destructive force in America. Thomas and the MAJORITY of people who KNOW anything about reality know this to be true. Hats off to Tim Thomas! Why would he want to give a propaganda opportunity to the sinister Obama? " by DICK Mc

Hey Mr. Dick,
 Where oh where did Tim Thomas say ANYTHING directly about the president, as you can see from the statement above he stated the"Federal government" last I saw that ment a few more people then just president Obama. He talked about the Executive, Legislative & Judicial levels of the Federal Government. I'm glad you decided to take a statement & turn it into your own political agenda, WTG a-hole you are EXACTLY what is wrong with this country in the 1st place!!!!!!

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:08 pm

Thomas is an entitled idiot

Through a professional trade organization, I had the opportunity a few years back to meet then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush.  His politics were 180 degrees away from mine, but I felt like it was a privilege to meet him, and I felt honored to have the opportunity.  

The bottom line is that you should respect the office, whether or not you agree with the politics of the man who is in it.  So, sometime down the road, Thomas might be applying for a job.  The person making the decision will probably google him.  If I wanted someone with entreprenurial abilities, I might take him.  But if I wanted someone who I could trust to respect authority within the company, I would throw his app in the trash can. 

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:52 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

I hate all sports Boston but i have to say great job Tim thomas !!!

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

As a Canadian, I can ensure you, nothing could be further from the truth.

Keep deluding yourself. Canadians come here to go to school(university level) and also live in a climate which is warm. You can count the Americans who move to Canada on one hand. Most went to avoid the law because they knew they could get away with it.

Canada has some very nice cities(Toronto and Vancouver to name 2) and great beer. They also get a lot of love for inventing the great sport of hockey. I'll even give them credit for some awesome contributors to comedy in: Jim Carrey, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy,Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin and the great Catherine O'Hara. I'll even give you Seth Rogan. However,Ryan Reynolds is horrible.

However, we all know the lower 48 is the destination for those who want to truly make a name for themselves. That's why so many have been transplanted in California, Florida and elsewhere.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:33 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Obama is a destructive force in America. Thomas and the MAJORITY of people who KNOW anything about reality know this to be true. Hats off to Tim Thomas! Why would he want to give a propaganda opportunity to the sinister Obama? 

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

This is SO different than Ramirez who is/was a knucklehead and clearly Tim Thomas is NOT!  He get's it and he has every right NOT to go and visit a president who he feels strongly enough is clearly NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING.

If Tim has any teammates who have a problem with this, it's their problem and they should either move on, or come to realize Tim Thomas is RIGHT!  But either way, all should respect each others positions because that is what makes our country the BEST.

I have very differing views on the same subject with my friends and we never or hardly ever discuss it face to face, but always if we have to "discuss" will use email as a way of communicating.  Here's one case where email is better!


Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Yeah, for about 30 million people who all want to be American(ok, except the Quebecers).
As a Canadian, I can ensure you, nothing could be further from the truth.

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:30 pm

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

In response to Tim Thomas protesting the Bruins' White House visit in DC, the First Lady announced that she would continue her hatred towards white people, specifically goal tenders acting like they have any political interest whatsoever. President Obama, having caucasian family members immediately addressed the issue with reporters, telling them, "I'll have to wax some sense into the first booty." Following his comments with the media, President Obama proceeded down the hall toward the oval office. As the door slowly closed, sources state that Mrs. Obama was heard shouting, "NOT UP IN HERE...."

It was a pretty whacked out day in DC. All thanks to Tim Thomas.

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