Tim Thomas’s decision to skip a visit to the White House this week with the rest of the Stanley Cup-champion Boston Bruins may be the first step in the goaltender and the team parting ways, the Boston Globe reports.
Thomas, one of two Americans on the Bruins’ team that won the National Hockey League championship last season, declined the invitation to meet President Barack Obama on Jan. 23, saying in a statement that he believes “the federal government has grown out of control.”
Thomas, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s best goaltender, said he made the decision as an individual and didn’t mention the Bruins or his teammates in his statement.
Bruins President Cam Neely said the organization was “disappointed” in Thomas, who was a member of the U.S. hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics. General Manager Peter Chiarelli said Thomas wouldn’t be disciplined for his actions.
Thomas, 37, has one year left on his four-year, $20 million contract with the Bruins after this season. A no-movement clause in his deal expires at the conclusion of the 2011-12 campaign, and the Globe said the White House snub may lead to the Bruins parting ways with Thomas, without citing the source of its information.
Thomas, who has spent all eight of his NHL seasons in Boston, is the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the postseason’s Most Valuable Player and has a 20-9 record with a 2.12 goals-against average this season. Tuukka Rusk, a 24-year- old from Finland, is the Bruins’ backup goaltender and is 11-5 with a 1.82 GAA after starting yesterday’s loss to the Washington Capitals.
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