Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/24/12 at 12:01 PM ET
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The question was never whether Thomas HAD the right to skip the White House visit, but SHOULD he simply have stifled his personal interests for the betterment of a team celebrating their win one last time. Many will applaud the B’s goaltender for damning the torpedoes and simply doing what he felt was right in his world view. That is the kind of stand-alone bravery that can foster change in times when it’s needed.
But here’s one suggestion: why not announce Thomas’ intentions prior to the visit in order to defuse the situation and take the heat out of it on Monday afternoon. Thomas is wonderful at stopping pucks in tense situations and he’s one of the most humble athletes you’ll ever come across.
But he’s not a brilliant PR strategist and there seems to have been no notion of getting out ahead of the train wreck that steamed into the East Wing of the White House Monday afternoon.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Shabby. Immature. Unprofessional. Self-centered. Bush league. Need I go on? All that and more applies to what Thomas did, on a day when Cup teammates Mark Recchi (now retired), Shane Hnidy (a radio guy these days in Winnipeg), and Tomas Kaberle (a member of some Original Six team in Canada), all gladly joined the red-white-blue-black-and-gold hugfest at the White House.
Thomas needed to be there in solidarity, and celebration, with his team. It was the same government yesterday, and will be today, that protected his country, his security, his family, and his right to make $5 million a year, all last season. In his absence, he stole his teammates’ spotlight. Win as a team. Lose as a team. And when asked to stand up and take a bow, then stand up there and suffer if need be, even if you don’t like the setting, the host, or any of the political trappings and tenets that come with it.
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