Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/28/12 at 12:34 PM ET
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Tim Thomas waded through the crowd and sat in the shaky folding director’s chair behind the podium, in a room swimming with fellow NHL all-stars and media, and managed an easy smile. “I can’t believe this chair held Z,” he said, referring to his looming teammate, Zdeno Chara. He gave a little laugh.
That was pretty much the end of the fun, even in this most frivolous of weekends. As the rest of the available NHL constellation sat and talked with ease, the usually affable Thomas chose his words with great care, pausing to stare into the middle distance, and tried to hole himself up in the edifice he had created this week by skipping Boston’s Stanley Cup visit to the White House and releasing a libertarian political message on his Facebook page. Now, Thomas clearly wants the whole thing to go away.
“I think it should. I think it should,” Thomas said. “Why? Because it’s all media-driven right now. It has been from the start. And everything that I said and did was as an individual, not as a representative of the Boston Bruins. It … all it has to do is with me. But it’s separate from hockey. That’s my personal life. Those are my personal views. Those are my personal beliefs. It has nothing to do with hockey. It has nothing to do with this All-Star Game. And it has nothing to do with the Boston Bruins.”
That is an entanglement that seems impossible to break. It was, after all, a team event, and as Thomas has refused to expand on or defend his beliefs in detail — “I followed my conscience,” he said Thursday night after the NHL all-star draft — his teammates and coach and general manager have been asked to explain his actions, and how they might affect the team. As David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail asked Chara before the draft, “Zdeno, you said you won’t be picking all right-wingers. Does this mean you won’t be picking Tim Thomas?” As one Bruins team source told The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa, “[Expletive] selfish [expletive].”
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