In case you missed the news earlier this week, former Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was honored at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, along with fellow former NHLer Brian Gionta, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, youth coach Neal Henderson and American women’s player Krissy Wendell.
Yesterday Thomas broke his five year silence with the media during a conference call hosted by USA Hockey. You may recall that Thomas’ career ended under strange circumstances. First, the Bruins netminder refused to visit the White House with his Bruins teammates in protest of then U.S. President Barack Obama. Then, Thomas firmly aligned himself with the conservative-minded Tea Party.
Thomas took the 2012-13 season off and issued a rambling statement online explaining his reasoning. Then, a year later he was back with… the Florida Panthers? It was a strange time, to say the least.
Since then though, Thomas has faded into history and hasn’t been heard from since… until yesterday. Check out these quotes from Thomas, pulled from yesterday’s conference call:
“Everybody probably knows nowadays I don’t actually have all that much to say, at least publicly. Obviously I’ve decided to keep what I’ve been doing with my life and learning to myself at this point, for sure, and probably forever.”
So, what about the rumors that he was going to be the “flag-bearer” during the Bruins’ Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues this past spring? Was it ever in the works?
”With the state of my nervous system since I retired, I wouldn’t be able to hardly handle the energy of the crowd in Boston. So it isn’t as simple as it may seem. Having said that, you never know what the future may hold. I’m just taking life as it goes.”
That sounds… concerning?
And what’s his relationship with the game? Does he still follow hockey?
”I have other interests. I have a totally other focus. I live in a totally different world than the hockey world that I lived in before. I live a long ways away from Boston, and it’s not that fun for me to travel anymore. It isn’t anything to do with the Boston Bruins or the Boston fans, especially. My goodness, they loved the crap out of me when I was there to the point where it was hard to handle.”
”I don’t personally have any relationship with the game. My focus and mind is on learning about other stuff. I learned so much about hockey and that area. I feel like I’ve learned as much as I needed to learn about it. My focus is on learning about other stuff.”
Not going to lie… this all sounds concerning to me. But then again, Thomas has never been the kind of guy that you can get a good read on anyways. In any case, hopefully this isn’t the last we here from the legendary goalie in the next half-decade.