Tim Thomas, the man with 2 Vezina trophies, 1 Stanley Cup and 1 Conn Smythe trophy, has decided that he will take all of next year off to spend more time with family, friends and his faith. Isn’t that just lovely and makes you feel all warm and tingly on the inside? Well, it would have that affect, if any of that garbage was true, but alas, it is not.
In 2011 The Bruins won the cup against all odds and everything in Boston was great. Fans were elated, players were basking in the magic and Thomas had done everything possible for his team to hoist hockey’s holy grail. They all enjoyed a nice eventful summer with the cup and the various media stops and Tim Thomas went to his roots in Flint, Michigan. He celebrated there and even took a gander at the lovely crop-circle art that Farmer John made for him.
When the new season begins, things were tough out of the gate and the Bruins were 3 and 7 after the first ten games of the season. Luckily back to back losses to The Canadiens would reignite The Bruins in November where they would only lose once all month. Everything was going great and then in January all the pieces began to crumble.
It was the annual visit to The White House for a meet-and-greet with President Obama. It was a glamorized photo op with lots of smiles and awkward laughs, but it is a tradition of sorts. But Thomas decided that he would skip it. Later the public learned that it was a political stance, as he is a supporter of the Tea Party. Later on in the year, he made a couple of political statements on Facebook, had a meeting with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli who told Thomas that it is okay if he wants to post those things on a public forum but he has to be ready to answer questions from the press…which Thomas did not. The Bruins would end up slipping the rest of the season and get upset by a mediocre Capitals team with their streaking goalie. Now Thomas says he is taking the year off for the aforementioned reasons.
There is no way that that is the true reason for his decision to sit out this year. This has all to do with him destroying the chemistry of the Bruins and ostracizing himself from his teammates. It did not matter what Thomas’ political beliefs were. Going to the White House is a team event. You go because it is the right thing to do. It is a short visit. You smile, you nod and only need to speak when spoken too. You don’t sit your butt at home and hold that head high as if you are some kind of martyr. You then don’t need to go onto Facebook and participate in supporting anti-Obama rants.
Fellow Bruins had to deal with questions about Tim. You could see it in their faces that they felt uneasy about the situation but had to spit out the usual crap about how he is their teammate and they support his decisions. They did not support him and I can guarantee you that his antics drove them all apart. Bruin fans (myself included) knew that his career was over in Boston because of it. Boston had Rask in waiting for the starting job and now it is his and that is what Timmy Thomas has the issue with.
Thomas knew that The Bruins wanted no part of him for next season but he loves the city and wants to finish his career here. So what could he do? Simple. Say that he needs to take a year off from hockey. Why does that work in his benefit? It is because once he uttered those words, all the teams that were salivating for him on the trade market lost their appetite. He knows that this will make it nearly impossible for him to be moved. What would you trade to Boston for the rights to a guy that might never play a game for your organization? Nothing, really. You would have to be convinced that Thomas would play for you. Thomas, on the other hand, gets to sit at his same home next year and pray that Boston has a miserable year in front of Tuukka Rask and that they will be praying for his return in 2013-2014. Or he could simply be under the assumption that there will be no season at all next year due to another lockout.
Either way Boston is in no man’s land. They are not obligated to pay him because he has chosen not to play but they are still stuck with him. This is turning into a giant chess match and Thomas believes he is in check-mate position. The question is ‘which side is going to be the first one to blink?’