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What do Tim Thomas’ post-elimination comments mean — if anything?

Apr 26, 2012, 3:07 PM EDT

Tim Thomas Getty Images

Even with a tumultuous season behind him, Tim Thomas can’t escape scrutiny.

That was the case on Thursday as’s Joe Haggerty tried to make sense of Thomas’ comments following last night’s Game 7 loss to the Washington Capitals, one that ended Boston’s season and dashed hopes of back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.

Thomas pointedly said “they” instead of “we” when discussing the Bruins, leading to speculation his days in Boston might be coming to an end.

More, from CSNNE:

Thomas showed some signs last night that he may be anticipating a trade.

Some observers said they spotted him stepping on the Bruins logo in the middle of the home dressing room — a definite no-no — after the game was over.

He also referenced the rest of the Bruins team as “they” at least five times during his postgame interview.

“What it says about our guys is that they’re battlers and they’re still champions,” he said. “They gave everything they had to the bitter end. Unfortunately this is sports and they fell short this time.”

The remarks were consistent with Thomas’ tendency to paint himself as an individual.

Haggerty’s article echoes what ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy wrote following Boston’s Game 4 loss. Murphy was critical of Thomas “calling out teammates” and failing to accept responsibility for the defeat, suggesting there was a divide between goaltender and skaters.

Without getting too conspiratorial, one has to wonder if articles like these reflect the organization’s feeling towards Thomas. While GM Peter Chiarelli and President Cam Neely didn’t publicly denounce the White House snub and subsequent political rants, it’s clear both were displeased Thomas made himself a distraction by putting his personal interests above the team’s.

  1. DTF31 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    So San Jose or Chicago?

    • bcisleman - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Tampa Bay.

      • DTF31 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        It would actually be awesome to see him get banished to Columbus. I think I read his NTC is up at the draft so you never know

      • east96st - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        DTF – While I will be the first to admit he’s light years better than Mason, the LAST thing the Jackets need is another a**hole in the locker room. Remember how well Carter worked out? The Jackets need to try to get Luongo. Again, huge improvement over Mason and he’ll be a guy that will appreciate the peace and quiet of Columbus instead of stirring up s**t.

    • chumthumper - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Wherever he goes, he’s gonna take his divisive attitude with him and separate another team into “they” and “we”.

      • rg3isvictory - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        If they win it doesn’t matter!

  2. bigtganks - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    POTUS. Lol

  3. napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    By no means am I a linguistics expert, but wouldn’t the mere fact that he referenced them initially as “our guys” make it seem like the rest of the “they’s” in that sentence mean something different? For instance, my family has 2 dogs and they are both chocolate labs who are brown. So what does them being chocolate labs say about my dogs? “What it says about our dogs is that they are brown.” Maybe I’m overthinking it, but that’s the way I read it.

    Now the fact that Tukka is an RFA and that the Bs need to make a choice – that could signal a move. Not a couple of pronouns in a sentence.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Basically the “theys” don’t necessarily put me outside the whole in that context…

    • nobandwagoners - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      I haven’t watched or seen Thomas and Rask throughout the entire year. Is Rask truly ready to step up and be the #1 guy, game in and game out? And is there someone else in the organization that can step into the back-up spot?

      My recollection is that Thomas still bore most of the work and the “important” games; and, of course, he was the goalie in the playoffs after all. It might be a good time for him to move on but I think it’d depend on whether the organization has confidence that Rask can step into Thomas’ skates and carry the Bruins.

      • itsallniceonice - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Rask carried the team as the #1 goalie for an entire season and got us into the second round of the playoffs where they fell to Carolina. That said he hasn’t looked fantastic in recent years but that could be attributed to sitting on the bench a lot. I’ll miss Thomas if he goes but I have confidence that moving forward with Rask won’t be too bad.

      • drewzducks - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:31 PM

        Actually Rask led league in GAA and save% in 2010 and had a great year filling in for injured TT but unfortunately was in goal during monumental collapse to Phily in playoffs. TT was in goal for the Carolina loss in 2009 playoffs the year he won his first Vezina. They have a kid Anton Khoudobin who played in Minny system and is pretty solid as a #2.

    • Doesnotmatter - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      ….but he stepped on the Bruins logo

  4. seanthegreatest - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Smart money is on San Blow. As a Ducks fan I hope I’m wrong.

  5. stevefromsacto - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Consider this:

    When Thomas refused to attend the White House ceremony for the Bruins, he stole the spotlight from his teammates who wanted to enjoy a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be honored by the President for winning the Cup. He put his own political views about his teammates. Where I come from, that’s called selfishness.

    The Bruins went into a slump right around the same time that this happened. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • HawaiiHockey - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Thomas acted like a lone wolf this year. Lone wolf’s don’t win stanley cups.

    • 8man - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Yeah. I initially dismissed it as just a whimsical part of his character. But then the episode got bigger and Thomas started talking. Nothing good happened after that. I love the guy’s game, but maybe he can’t come back. That’s why teams have a coach and a GM. They’ll figure it out.

      Either way, when those boys take the ice in those spoked black and gold sweaters again in October it’ll be “giddy up!”.

  6. odj810 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Thomas has been outstanding for the boston bruins. It may be time to move on if we can get something substantial back. I think chicago and sanjose would be good suitors to trade with. Also possibly tampa.

  7. demons87 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    James Murphy has seemed to have something against Thomas for a while so take his comments with a grain of salt.

    As for using they, we need the question to understand the contect of the answer. Was the question about his teammates? if so, then the the word they makes sense. If you ask me about my family, i might say, “they are typical hardworking Americans”, but that doesn’t mean that I am no longer considering myself outside of the family or a hard working American.

    The media seems to be pushing for things that are not there. They have been bashing him for giving up one more goal in the series than the guy who they have been (deservedly) raving about.

  8. justicemsb - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    I like Tim Thomas, but when he used the team to fuel his own political agenda, that just brought him down in my book a notch(or two). A lot of teams may look at that IF he’s looking to move(or the team is looking to move him). He may have just shot himself in the foot with that boo boo.

    • DTF31 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Honestly, I don’t think most teams care. At all. If a player can help a team win games I don’t think they care if he burned a bus-full of children. They’d love to be in the predicament of him dealing with a WH visit.

  9. iluvwikileaks - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I kinda hope Teabag Timmy comes to Pittsburgh. Time to dump Fluery. He sucks. I don’t like Tim’s politics or his snubbing the office of The President of the Unites States. But, he is a good goalie and probably a nice guy underneath all that political grandstanding.

  10. Stiller43 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    This guy is one of the biggest douche in sports without “off the field” problems.

    • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      He’s not a douche, he just has a point of view the main stream media doesn’t like. If he’d turned down President Bush the same people would be lauding him. Get over it, free speech in this country.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        Yes, we have free speech. But he is a member of a team and chose self over team. With any president, I would have been fully supportive if he had instead taken his moment with our nation’s president to discreetly hand the man a written copy of his beliefs and posted them online later, and then had been adult enough to defend his views in a single news conference, and only then say “no more comment”. But he ducked and ran, claiming his World Wide Web posts are too private to comment about. And if someone believes the Founding Fathers spoke with one unified voice, they should learn more. They had great trouble agreeing on several things, but made compromises. And if someone believes we should do now only what the Founders would approve of, try to recall they allowed slavery and declined to let women vote. Not the best 21st century role models.

      • sassiecassie69 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:14 AM

        i don’t have a problem w/thomas’ politics. what i do have a problem with was how he made his absence from the white house visit all about him. he disrespected the team by not going, isolating himself from the rest of his teammates. he further moved away from his team when he made those remarks a few days ago about how they needed to put more pucks towards the other team’s goalie. not a team player, now is he? and what did he get for his free speech? elimination from the playoffs by a wash d.c. team, put in by a black player thru his own five-hole. you can’t write karma better than that:)

      • Stiller43 - May 7, 2012 at 9:51 PM

        his “point of view the main stream media doesn’t like” is fine. many people have differing viewpoints. His willingness only to talk about it on facebook (a very public site) and make all these comments only when nobody can ask a simple question is idiotic. the fact that people have different opinions is great, but be able to stand up for it. dont be so bold in it yet refuse to defend it.

  11. bloggersarenotjournalists - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Many goalies think along the lines on being on an island, they have their job he has his job. That being said Thomas is as good as gone. But not for his play or what he says, it’s just a favorable hockey move. Older goalie with a younger and talented back-up. Get something for him now.

  12. steviep23 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    See why things can’t get done in congress. “They” aren’t team players.

  13. cableguymike - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    The guy is a douche. Pure and simple. Always has been. Always will be.

    Based on his FB comments, he may also be a psychopath but the jury is still out on that one.

  14. solador78 - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Timmy pulled a Gisele:

    • Doesnotmatter - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      That is so true, Gisele. Could not have said it better myself. No one can throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.

  15. pantherpro - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I am no longer a Bruins fans after Mr Yahoo disrespected our President. Hey Tim… Go back to living in the woods your rifle! You’re a freaking idiot. We don’t need athletes pooping off about politics especially ignorant views. Hope you end up in Columbus Redneck. Maybe Florida so you can hang out with NASCAR morons!

    • bloggersarenotjournalists - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      After one season you’re done as a fan huh?
      Gonna wait a few more weeks before picking your new favorite team Im guessing

  16. sjsharks66 - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    It’s funny seeing all these people complain about his political views. What does it matter? Just because he disagrees on something means hes a bad person? Correct me if I’m wrong on that.

  17. th86cj7 - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Pantherpro, shows how ignorant wnd ill informed you are actually. Not to go off on a political rant and age nda here but maybe you should check your history and information he declined an invitation to the White House to meet the President. He didnt disrespect him he declinedand said he didnt agree with our government becoming too big and out of control, his opinion and his choice, that was the end of it. Since this country was founded there have been opposing political views and opinions and there has been slander and bi partisianship amongst all parties, but what makes the process great and this country going in the mutual respect for each side.and each sides right to.their.own opinion. Timmy didnt come out and go off on some tangent and rant and rave and hold a press conference, this was boston media blowing out of usual proportion. Living here, growing up here, and seeing it all the time, timmy said his peace that was it and it hasnt died since.because other people who dont share his opinion wont let it go. Let it go people, relax, have a beer, lighten up, im sure everyone in your life will be thankful. As far as hockey this guy has won 2 vezinas in 4 years a conn smythe, was a top 5 goalie this year, and last year had bar none the greatest run in goaltending history in the playoffs. Iblove tukka but hes not ready. Timmy does get frustrated and i wont say he always handles it perfectly, but what do u do when ur team scores 15 goals in 7 games, and goes 3 for.23 on the pp. The guy has to be perfect every single night id be pissed.too. With that being said ithink the bruins need to get some scoring and trade luc because show and horts not coming back and timmy one more year.

  18. bleed4philly - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Which explains why he snubbed Obama, the individualist has spoken!

  19. hockeyfan28 - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Most of the people in the press covering him are huge democrats finding a republican sports reporter in any level of the news whether it be internet, print, or tv is like trying to find a needle in haystack… Timmy knew the score when he spoke out and he knew that everyone in the press was laying for the guy the moment he slipped up even though it was more the rest of the team not being able to beat Holtby then anything Thomas…..but speaking for everyone in the Eastern Conference please trade him out west cause he has been the best goalie in hockey the last 4 or 5 years and Raask the last playoff game he started gave up that nice three goal lead to the Flyers in the most epic collapse of the last 35 years in hockey(which he was goalie for every game of).

  20. coacheskid - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Asshats. All of you. He is not anti Obama. He is anti government.

    He would have decline bush, Reagan or kennedy

    The list of athletes that refused the white house invite is pretty long

    Theo epstien and 4 or 5 sox players declined in 04 when bush was there. But the moonbat press praised them all

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      He would have been wrong to decline Bush, Reagan or Kennedy. Just like Theo and Co. were wrong to decline Bush (first I’ve heard of that, praise or no).

      It’s the President of the United States. It’s supposed to be a celebratory thing for your TEAM. They weren’t there to support health care. They weren’t there to support budget cuts or tax increases. They were there to get rightfully recognized for accomplishing a very cool thing.

      Just suck it up and smile, and try not to ruin it for everyone. If we can’t coexist long enough for a celebration or moment of recogniztion, we’re all in trouble.

  21. islandersfan - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    “Thomas showed some signs last night that he may be anticipating a trade.

    Some observers said they spotted him stepping on the Bruins logo in the middle of the home dressing room — a definite no-no — after the game was over.

    He also referenced the rest of the Bruins team as “they” at least five times during his postgame interview.

    “What it says about our guys is that they’re battlers and they’re still champions,” he said. “They gave everything they had to the bitter end. Unfortunately this is sports and they fell short this time.”

    The remarks were consistent with Thomas’ tendency to paint himself as an individual.”

    I wouldn’t read too much into those comments – Goalies have an exceedingly long history of being “individuals”, and to put it more bluntly, nutty as hell. It’s a quirk that I’ve come to love but sometimes you just have to shrug and ignore it because it just comes with the territory.

  22. sillysporty - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    hey bean town jackasses ,hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  23. salmon90 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    So in just the last couple of days certain Bruins players have been labelled as ‘divers’, their fan base has been given a huge black-eye from a small minority of idiots and their controversial goalie has made another questionable comment. And now some of the commenters are getting a bit defensive.

    Being a Canuck fan I have absolutely no idea how that must feel.

  24. habsman - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    It would be surprising to see Thomas leave Boston. It’s his kind of town.

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