Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was not on hand for Monday’s ceremony, a decision he made months ago due to his political and ideological differences with the current administration.
“He chose not to come,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. ”The reasons behind it I think he’ll make the media aware through his Facebook.”
Thomas, one of only two Americans on Boston’s roster, registered a .967 save percentage in seven games against Vancouver, stopping 238 of the 246 shots he faced. The effort earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“I can require someone to attend a team event. If they don’t, I can suspend him.” Chiarelli told the Boston Globe. “I’m not suspending Tim. Whatever his position is, it isn’t reflective of the Boston Bruins nor my own. But I’m not suspending him.”
Thomas explained his absence in a statement on his Facebook page in which he cited his belief that ‘The Federal government has grown out of control.’ As the Early Lead’s Cindy Boren reported:
Thomas has drawn criticism — and praise — for the decision, which he posted at 6 p.m. Monday and says will be his final comment on the matter.
“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 oppostition 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”
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe thinks Thomas, a Flint, Mich., native, missed an opportunity to make his views more public — beyond the goalie mask bearing the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me,” a slogan adopted by the Tea Party. He “had a chance to tell the leader of the free world what he thinks it means to be an American today. Not just any American, mind you, but an Olympian, a multimillionaire, a hero in the city where he works, and a member of a championship team that has been a source of joy (and sorrow, too) to millions of Bostonians for nearly a century.
“Instead, Thomas took his pads and blocker to another end of town and issued his statement. He could have talked to the president. Instead, he mailed one in from the pizza stand. I think he missed his chance. I think he missed the point of the day. I think he mistreated his teammates.”