Tag: White House visit

Darryl Sutter

Darryl Sutter wants to talk Keystone pipeline with Obama


It’s time for the Los Angeles Kings to pay their visit to the White House and after Tim Thomas’ high-profile spurning of the trip last season, of course people are going to find out what some of the guys think of meeting the most powerful man in the free world. Coach Darryl Sutter already has a topic he wants to discuss with President Barack Obama however.

Sutter told reporters, as Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times shares, that he wants to talk oil.

That’s referring to a proposed project that would link Canada and the United States together by sending oil being drilled in the Alberta tar sands to refineries in Texas and Nebraska. The President is against approving the project for a host of reasons. Canada is all for going ahead with it.

Whatever happened to just talking sports and silly stuff with the President?

Caps fans bring Obama masks to taunt Tim Thomas


If nothing else, the Washington Capitals have been a strong team at home this season. They also have some pretty clever – and politically attuned – fans, which you can see in the way they’re tweaking Tim Thomas tonight with Barack Obama masks:


Photo via Stephen Whyno.

That’s some quality trolling.

To give you a little more background on the Obama mask movement, Whyno caught up with the bloggers/fans who masterminded the inspired bit of tomfoolery. Here’s an excerpt:

“We’ve taken a story that already existed and kind of rekindled it, fired it back to life,” said Kevin Klein of the Sick, Unbelievable blog. “I think in Tim Thomas’ head, it was already there. He knew that coming to Washington after he had made his own political statement, it was going to be a big deal.”

If Thomas wasn’t thinking about it, he certainly saw during pregame warm-ups as several fans brought home-made signs and some printed from the Russian Machine Never Breaks and Brooks Laich Year blogs.

“What did Wayne Gretzky say? You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. This was too much of an opportunity to pass up,” said Mike Holden, 37, of Rockville. “We had Timmy coming to town, and he wants this issue to go away, and we figured we’d put it right in his face.”

It’s an amusing bit of grief-giving, although angering Thomas might inspire some spite-powered goaltending. We shall see.

With all that in mind, I must ask. What ranks higher in your fan creativity/trolling power rankings: Caps fans rocking the Barack to mock Thomas skipping the White House photo op or Pittsburgh Penguins fans embracing Ilya Bryzgalov’s bear phobias with their furry costumes?

It’s tough to imagine the results being worse for Caps fans, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Tim Thomas: “We’re stuck. I don’t have answers.”

Tim Thomas, Dennis Seidenberg, Evgeni Malkin

At one point not too long ago, the Boston Bruins seemed like an unstoppable wrecking ball of a team. The defending champions represented the most compelling choice for back-to-back Cup wins in quite some time.

Now the Bruins must worry about losing their division and/or sliding to the third seed – and who knows what once the playoffs begin.

In good times and bad, much of the focus shines upon two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Tim Thomas. (That seems especially fair since he allowed six Florida Panthers goals last night.) CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty caught up with the struggling goalie, who seems downright stumped right now.

“[I] don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a run like this,” Thomas said. “We’re stuck. I don’t have answers.”

Thomas certainly hasn’t provided many answers in March in particular. He’s 3-5-0 in that time, but it’s his individual numbers that are of a bigger concern. Thomas has a hideous .842 save percentage and a ghastly 4.06 GAA in nine unsettling appearances this month.

(Feel free to peruse his split stats and game log if you want to hatch White House slump-related conspiracy theories – start with Jan. 31’s game – but it’s especially clear that times have been rough since March rolled around. Personally, I think it’s a coincidence, but an amusing one in that.)


Thomas isn’t responsible for the slump alone, but his numbers jump out the most. With Tuukka Rask seemingly far from a return from injury and Marty Turco looking rusty – to put it kindly – Thomas and the Bruins must look within for the answers to their plaguing questions.

Then again, maybe they should just look at their Stanley Cup rings – and all the times when their run almost fell short in 2011 – and realize that it was never supposed to be as easy as it looked from November to mid-January.

Tim Thomas wants family, friends left out of “media-driven” story

Tim Thomas

Instead of being a celebration of an unorthodox style producing amazing results, Tim Thomas’ All-Star weekend has been loaded with questions about his decision not to visit the White House with the rest of the Boston Bruins.

Thomas already seems beaten down by the situation, expecting the “media-driven” story to go away soon enough. In the mean time, he told reporters including Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski that he wants to keep his family and teammates out of it. (Especially since they’ve given him “full and unwavering” support.)

“All it has to do is with me, but it’s separate from hockey,” Thomas said. “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.”

“I would really appreciate it if people would leave my teammates and my family out of it.”

Some (Wyshynski included) are speculating that the family part of that equation is in part a reaction to a controversial Tweet by TSN’s Dave Hodge.

Thomas is totally justified in wanting his family to be out of the equation, but demanding people not to wonder how his teammates feel about the gesture is asking a bit much. Ultimately, this story will die down in good time, but it’s likely that it will feel interminable to Thomas – and perhaps to his teammates.

What they’re saying about Tim Thomas’ White House snub

The 2011 ESPY Awards - Press Room

Normally the White House trip is a nice formality and photo op, but Tim Thomas’ decision not to go has the hockey world talking. Here’s a collection of supportive, snarky and serious reactions to his political move:

Seriously critical

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty:

source:  Yahoo’s Ryan Lambert:


Former NHL general manager Craig Button:


Damien Cox doesn’t pull punches:

source:  Supportive

Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski believes that Thomas shouldn’t be demonized:

It’s a moment in which a professional athlete uses his fame, his influence for something he believes in, and does something that won’t be popular among fans or media. Sean Avery did the same thing: Potentially alienating his teammates by taking a political stand on gay marriage.

If he’s celebrated and Thomas is demonized, what does that say about our real tolerance of free speech? That it’s only free when we agree with it?

ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy:


The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell:

As sports fans and members of the media, all we ever ask is that the people who play the games have a mind of their own and don’t conduct themselves like mindless automatons. Too often we are disappointed. So when one of them uses his position of celebrity to express his opinion, we should be celebrating it. This is not Michael Moore saying “Shame on you, George Bush,” at the Academy Awards or the Dixie Chicks calling Bush a moron – which are both entirely acceptable as well, but far more controversial. This was a very thoughtful, articulate and pensive athlete respectfully declining an invitation.


Pass it to Bulis:

source:  Down Goes Brown:

source:  Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika: