October 17th, 2013 by

Thomas’ start vs. Bruins to conclude another journey

Thomas’ start vs. Bruins to conclude another journey

Photo credit: Bridget Samuels

Thursday night, Tim Thomas gets his first shot at facing his former team when the Florida Panthers welcome the Boston Bruins to South Florida. That saga was a journey in and of itself.

On April 28, 2012 – two days after the Bruins fell to the Washington Capitals in a shocking first round exit – Thomas entered the home locker room at the TD Garden for the last time. Fans, pundits and teammates figured that Thomas’ appearance would be the last with the Black and Gold. Two months later, Thomas indeed confirmed his “exile” from hockey in one of his many Facebook posts.

That 2011-12 season was not an easy one for Thomas, as he took a fall from grace. But first let’s turn back the clock a bit.

In 2010-11, Thomas posted one of the best single seasons for any goaltender in history. He surpassed Dominik Hasek for the top save percentage in league history during the regular season. Then, during the postseason, he compiled one of the best performances in Stanley Cup Playoff history that included four shutouts (two against the Vancouver Canucks) and was the backbone of the team’s first taste of Lord Stanley in 39 years.

Thomas was indeed the hero of the Stanley Cup run. His blue-collar work ethic was admired by many as he hoisted the Cup in Vancouver. He was on the face of many newspapers and magazines, both locally and nationally. He signed endorsements for Arbella Insurance and Discover. (Who can forget Peggy?) He could certainly do no wrong to many supporters in The Hub of Hockey.

Then, on a late January afternoon, Thomas decided to make headlines again. But not for the reasons he hoped.

On a day where the Bruins were being honored by President Barack Obama – what’s usually the cherry top of a season – Thomas decided to bail out on his teammates and skip the ceremony. He then took to Facebook to explain his absence and drew a mixed reaction.

But while Thomas used a public platform to express his outlandish political views, he refused to speak to the media when questioned about his Facebook posts. The media would then ask his fellow teammates about Thomas’ views distracting the team, and that in it and itself was a distraction.

As a result, the Bruins and Thomas’ performance suffered due to his off-ice antics. The team wasn’t able to recover, nor was Thomas. And the saga of the 2011-12 season was left with more questions than answers.

Nearly a year after his last appearance, GM Peter Chiarelli traded Thomas in a salary dump to the New York Islanders. Thomas did not report to Long Island during the lockout-shortened season, but the Isles got off the cap floor. The trade freed up cap space for the B’s and it didn’t hurt the Isles in the long run, either, as they advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Eight months after the trade, Thomas signed his deal with the Panthers. And here we are today, a day in which the government re-opened, where everyone has gone their separate ways.

The Boston Bruins have moved on behind their current franchise goaltender, Tuukka Rask. Tim Thomas has moved on to resume his hockey career and play at a market that is more suited to his politics. The fans and media have moved on to their daily lives.

Still, both good and bad, Thomas left several memories when he donned the Spoked ‘B’. And those memories, from his political views to his journey just to get to the National Hockey League, are all part of his legacy.

Share "Thomas’ start vs. Bruins to conclude another journey" via

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

More in Daily News
Apr 19, 8 hours ago

Player of the game: Bruins-Red Wings Game 1

Leading up to Game 1 between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, many talked about the speed of Pavel Datsyuk or the physicality of the Bruins, but not too many people focused on the Red Wings net minder Jimmy Howard. Much of the chatter was abo…

Apr 19, 8 hours ago

Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter log key minutes in Game 1

When the Bruins claimed Corey Potter off waivers and traded for Andrej Meszaros at the NHL trade deadline, no one really knew what to expect from either of the Bruins newest defensemen. Meszaros played in 14 regular season games for the Bruins while…

Apr 18, 21 hours ago

Getting to know the Detroit Red Wings

With the Bruins and Red Wings set to kick off their first round playoff series tonight in Boston, we got together with George Malik of Kukla’s Korner where George helps us get to know the Detroit Red Wings. Bruins Daily: George, thank you for t…