CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty caught up with a few Bruins following today’s practice in Washington.
One Bruin he didn’t catch up with, though, was Tim Thomas.
The Boston goalie was one of the first players off the ice and when the dressing room opened for media access, Thomas wasn’t there.
A curious development — though not entirely surprising — given recent events. Yesterday, Thomas skipped Boston’s celebratory White House visit and posted a message on his Facebook page expressing disillusionment with the government.
Today, his teammates were left to answer for him over what’s become a hot-button issue.
“I obviously have a different viewpoint,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said. “I think this a wonderful country. [The government] has done so much for us. I think that’s why we were so thrilled to go because we had a different viewpoint. Everybody has a different point of view and that’s this country as well, right?”
Another Bruin, defenseman Steve Kampfer, expressed honor at getting to visit the White House. Kampfer’s a Michigan native (like Thomas) and was one of only three U.S. natives from the Stanley Cup-winning team invited to the event.
“It’s Timmy’s decision. It’s his beliefs and his right to do whatever he wants. We all had a great time going to the White House,” said Kampfer. “For me it was a dream come true because I studied [politics] in school. I was a political science major in school, so to shake the President’s hand was awesome. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Looking ahead, there are three things worth paying attention to.
One, how Thomas will be received tonight — since he was first off the ice, the assumption is he’s starting — as the Bruins take on the Caps in Washington, D.C.
Two, how he’ll handle speaking with the media for the first time (“This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic,” his Facebook message said.)
Three, what the atmosphere will be like at the NHL All-Star festivities in Ottawa. There’s no shortage of reporters at one of the league’s signature events and media availability is a big part of the weekend.