GATINEAU, Que. – Tim Thomas’ decision to skip a White House ceremony was received more warmly by NHL all-stars than members of the Boston Bruins front office.
“They’ve given me their full and unwavering support and I really appreciate that,” Thomas said of his fellow players after Thursday’s all-star fantasy draft.
The Bruins goaltender elected not to elaborate on why he chose to take a pass on a Stanley Cup ceremony with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday afternoon. Afterwards, members of the team’s front office expressed disappointment with the decision and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday it lacked “basic courtesy and grace.”
Thomas explained his choice to skip the ceremony in a statement posted on his Facebook page — blaming all three branches of government and both political parties.
“I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people,” he wrote.
Given his first chance to speak with reporters about the issue on Thursday night, he refused to disclose more.
“I did address it,” said Thomas. “Everything I said in my statement was what I believe to be absolute truth. I don’t believe that I need to revisit something that I stated so clearly.”
The issue put Thomas into the spotlight with the league gathering for one of its showcase events. It comes at the end of an unparalleled run for the 37-year-old, who won the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy and Vezina Trophy last season. He’s also been among the league’s best goaltenders so far this year.
Bruins teammate Zdeno Chara didn’t make him sit long during Thursday’s draft, selecting him in the second round.
“It was an honour and I’m happy with the way it turned out,” said Thomas.
In Sunday’s all-star game at Scotiabank Place, Thomas will be looking to record his fourth straight victory in the event.