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NHL Trade Rumors: Tim Thomas' Extra Baggage Not Worth Financial Advantage

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIAugust 2, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19:  Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins stretches between play against the Washington Capitals in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Tim Thomas is a Stanley Cup-winning goalie, Vezina Trophy winner and a Conn Smythe Trophy recipient. He has all the requisite skills to remain an NHL-caliber goalie, but he has chosen to retire from the game—or at least take a one-year hiatus from his spot between the pipes.

Despite his decision to take some time off to remain with his family, Thomas is still the topic of trade conversations. According to the Boston Herald, general manager Peter Chiarelli had this to say regarding Thomas' value:

I've had a couple of teams, more than a couple (ask about Thomas deals)[...]I've had a category of teams that are inquiring about acquiring him for the cap floor. And I've had a category of teams who inquired about, is he coming back? If you look at it, that would be a $5 million cap hit that a team doesn't have to pay. So yes, on that basis, I think there would be interest.

While Thomas would be an intelligent financial move for small-market teams, his propensity to publicly make his opinions known would be more trouble that it is worth.

Thomas' transgressions all started with his public display of displeasure with the US government.

He decided that he was not going to accompany his champion Boston Bruins teammates on their trip to the White House because he believes (via The Washington Post), "the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People."

That wasn't all he said, but you can get the gist of his take on the current administration from that snippet. He reserves the right to believe whatever he wants, but he needs to ease up when it creates controversy.

Speaking of controversy, he openly opposes faith-based organizations being obliged to provide their female employees with contraceptive products. He said (via Boston.com), "I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom."

His opinion is not the problem, as every member of a democratic society has the right to hold and voice their own opinion, but it becomes more of a problem when an athlete does so.

Athletes are served best when they stay out of the political sphere. At the very least, they should lay off possibly polarizing comments that could put them in the middle of controversy.

Thomas then supported the owner of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, on his Facebook page after his comments on gay marriage.

This has nothing to do with where you stand on any of these topics, but rather that Thomas is going to bring attention to himself when he is not even playing. If Thomas is indeed traded and doesn't stop publicly voicing controversial opinions, his prospective team isn't going to be happy with him.

Once again, Thomas reserves the right to any opinion he has, but it becomes a bad look when he is constantly the topic of conversation because of controversial statements.

It will be his prospective team's responsibility to decide whether his financial value is worth the possible headache.

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