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Thomas is ‘a great goalie, a great battler and a great person,’ says Panthers’ Campbell

Sep 16, 2013, 3:41 PM EDT

Brian Campbell Getty Images

Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell has played with Tim Thomas before (in Finland, during the 2004-05 lockout), and he welcomes the opportunity to do so again.

For Campbell, Thomas’ politics are no concern.

“Timmie has strong political views and I think that’s great,” said Campbell, per the Miami Herald. “I’ve learned a lot from him. You can ask him questions about things.

“Everyone has their opinions and that doesn’t hurt anyone. The whole White House thing, well, maybe you would like him to go but he cares about his country. If that’s his biggest fault, well, let’s move past it. He has strong views about everything, not just politics.”

Thomas will reportedly join Panthers practice Tuesday on a tryout basis.

Of note, Campbell’s comments today were very much in line with those of his former coach in Boston, Claude Julien.

“Tim wasn’t a bad person. I’m very clear on that,” said Julien in February, per the Boston Globe. “He’s a person that had his views, and was pretty strong in his own views at times. But never a bad person. That’s why a lot of times, we didn’t feel he was a distraction. He was just a guy that thought differently. I know a lot of times guys would say, ‘You know what? As long as he stops pucks, we’re OK with it.’ That was the consensus of our players in the dressing room.”

Thomas, 39, took last year off from hockey to focus on “friends, family and faith.”

“I enjoyed my time playing with Tim,” said Campbell. “He’s a great goalie, a great battler and a great person. Him coming here is a bonus for us. We feel we have two strong goaltenders here but if you can add a piece like this, it’s not going to hurt you.”

Related: Thomas is a smart gamble for Panthers

  1. caniac4ever - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    And here come the know it all liberals with their kool-aid and tin foil hat comments….

  2. ibieiniid - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Caniac, I have a feeling you don’t know what the koolaid and tin foil parts mean…

    • caniac4ever - Sep 16, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      My point exactly.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        your point exactly? what says I’m a liberal? and why would any liberals come calling you a conspiracy theorist over the Thomas story? maybe the reason you think all liberals are know-it-alls is because they call you on your sh** when it’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about…. and I’d bet that it’s not just liberals anyway.

  3. arbruins - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    It’s America, it’s a free country and you can believe what you wish. I don’t care for Obama either and would have skipped the white house visit as well. I watched Timmy play hockey, I couldn’t care less what he believed in as long as he helped the team win games.

  4. atteckus - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Yeah, I’m a liberal. Damn proud of it too. That said, I came here to talk about HOCKEY.

    Thomas is slug, not for what he thinks politically, but because of the way he handled his contract with Boston. He agreed to a front-loaded contract, and then simply walked off the job when the back-end of the contract was due. In other words, he took the money, then flipped his team the finger when it was their turn to reap the benefits of the deal. No right-minded GM in the NHL should be willing to make a deal with this guy.

    I hope Thomas gets a severe case of whiplash from having to look behind himself very often.

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