Video: Thomas feels ‘almost reborn’ in Florida

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Florida Panthers hopeful Tim Thomas met with the media for the first time on Tuesday, conducting a lengthy Q&A with reporters.

Here’s the video:

Some highlights:

— Nobody pressed Thomas on his personal politics, the White House snub or anything relating to Facebook. The closest was someone calling him a “polarizing figure” (though that was partly in relation to Thomas walking away from the game in the manner he did).

— The thought of never playing hockey again crossed his mind. Sorry, the thought of never playing haaaw-key again crossed his mind.

— Someone asked if he was happy Florida wasn’t a big hockey market with lots of media attention, to which Thomas replied he hadn’t really thought about the media much over the last year.

— Among the things he did during his sabbatical: built some townhouses, hunted alligator, made an alligator into a rug, and saw his kids.

— He said it was extremely difficult leaving the Bruins organization, but it was the right thing for himself and his family.

— Is Thomas in Florida to be the starter? “I definitely came here to play hockey,” he replied, which was actually a pretty slick way of dodging the question.

Related: Thomas is a smart gamble for Panthers