Chara on Thomas’ hiatus: “That’s his decision and we have to respect that”

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When the Boston Bruins raised the Stanley Cup in 2011, one could argue that Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara were the the 1a/1b explanation. Thomas made the highlight reel saves, but one can only speculate about how many Chara helped him avoid. It must be rather awkward for Chara to see all that is happening with the guy he once protected so successfully, then.

Chara spoke about Thomas for what was probably one of the first times in public with Josh Rimer last night. While Chara admitted that he hasn’t spoken with his (former?) goalie yet, he did support his decision.

“It’s tough news, but it’s important to him,” Chara said. “If he sits out the whole year, that’s his decision and we have to respect that.”

They’ll have to respect that and move on to the next task at hand: try to produce similar success with the next No. 1 guy, who should be Tuukka Rask. Do you think Chara is quite as supportive of Thomas “off the record,” though?