Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas addressed his White House snub at last night’s All-Star Fantasy Draft and while it might not have been the explanatory statement folks were looking for, it was a definitive one.
Shortly after being taken by Bruins teammate Zdeno Chara with the second pick (third overall), Thomas addressed the incident before turning the focus back on hockey.
“They have given their full and unwavering support, and I really appreciate that,” Thomas said of his Bruins teammates (courtesy CSNNE.com). “I did address [the White House snub]. Everything I said in my statement is what I believe to be absolute truth. I don’t believe I need to revisit something that I stated so clearly.
“This weekend is a celebration of hockey. This game of hockey is a great and it’s obviously given so much to me. I played all kinds of sports growing up, but this is the one that I love. To be part of an All-Star weekend and celebrate so many aspects of it is awesome.”
At first glance, it’s fair to assume 1) publicly, the Bruins have Thomas’ back, and 2) Thomas is done answering questions about the incident.
But is everybody done asking questions?
That remains to be seen. Even after Thomas’ definitive statement, reporters still posed questions with a political slant — one asked for Thomas’ reaction to a report Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said his actions disrespectful of President Obama. Thomas went the ‘no comment’ route and, as CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty writes, “there may be many more of those in the goalie’s future.”
There are still two full days before the actual All-Star Game and plenty of media interactions on the horizon. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Get set for the Heritage Classic with hot dog facts and more
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
The Arizona Coyotes received (mostly) good news on Sunday: Mike Smith‘s injury isn’t believed to be “severe,” even if he’s considered week-to-week, according to reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.
While Louis Domingue and Justin Peters isn’t the sort of goalie duo that will make shooters think twice about firing the puck, they’re both at least fairly experienced netminders.
(Considering Smith’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency, it’s not surprising that Arizona invested in a little insurance in Peters.)
Domingue is slated to start in net for the Coyotes against the New York Rangers on Sunday. It’s been a bumpy start for him so far, but Arizona has at least a theoretical advantage in that the Rangers played on Saturday.
As far as when Smith will be back? Well here’s a slight idea.
Dave Tippett does not think Mike Smith will be ready for home game vs. Colorado on Oct. 29, but he is not far from getting back on the ice.
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone: