If there were any doubts as to how selfish Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is, they were erased this weekend. Thomas took to his facebook page and announced that he would be sitting out the upcoming season even though he is still under contract with the Bruins for 2013—to the tune of $5 million against the salary cap.
On the surface, a simple solution would be to suspend him for the season and move on, but it’s not that simple in the salary cap world. If the team suspends him, that $5 million cap hit remains on the books. With the team looking to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, that money could be spent on a player that actually wants to suit up for the Bruins.
If this were the first incident of Thomas behaving in a selfish manner it would be much easier to give him the benefit of the doubt. But to think that he just realized at 38 years of age that his chosen profession would keep him away from “friends, family and faith” as he indicated on his facebook page seems like a stretch.
I hate to say it, but his words ring hollow on this one. This is the same man who chose to forgo a team trip to the White House when the team was honored for their Stanley Cup victory. This is the same player that an unnamed team source referred to as a [expletive] selfish [expletive]. This is the same player that the team had to pull from a charity event due to the uproar he created by skipping the White House trip.
As I said, his words ring hollow here and his actions seem, at best, to be the equivalent of a child standing in the middle of the room and holding their breath until they get what they want and what Thomas seems to want is for all eyes to be on him.
The funny part is that the Bruins do not need Tim Thomas. Tuukka Rask is the goalie of the future and if they don’t feel they can trust Anton Khudobin to be a sufficient backup, they can pursue a different route via trade or free agency.
What this talk of sitting out does is weaken the Bruins' position in trading Thomas. With his baggage there are probably a few teams that will take on the final year of his contract, but don’t expect them to offer anything significant in a trade.
The Bruins need to thank Thomas for his service, trade him for whatever they can get and move on, putting all of this selfishness behind them and focusing on moving forward. Thomas may have been the goaltender that led the team to the Cup in 2011, but his actions have assured that he will never be a favorite son of Boston. There’s no way that his name will be mentioned among Bourque's, Orr's and Neely's. He’ll be a footnote, a player that put himself above the team.
In a world where goaltenders are often looked upon as “headcases,” Tim Thomas is doing a great job at setting the bar even higher.