NEWARK, NJ Tim Thomas has often called New England his second home away from his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
But according to several sources, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner abruptly vacatedhis suburban home north of Boston, and moved his family to Colorado in the middle of this season.
The Bruins goaltender has been in New England for much of his hockey career. He traveled from his home state of Michigan as a teenager to play college hockey in Burlington at the University of Vermont, spent three seasons in Rhode Island as a member of the Providence Bruins and has lived in Boston for seven years after establishing himself as an All-Star goaltender for the Bruins.
He became something of a folk hero in Boston after leading his Bruins to a Stanley Cup two years ago, and he was one of the most beloved members of the Black and Gold.
Thomas permanently moved his parents to the Boston area when they both needed hospital care over the last few years. Both received cancer treatments here and thankfully recovered with the assistance of the best doctors in the country.
Thomas had established roots within the Boston community and the 38-year-old goalie seemed like the perfect candidate to remain in the Boston area after his playing career was over.
But Thomas future with the Bruins started to get a little cloudy when the White House brouhaha went down this year in January. Apparently, now the goaltender has lost that loving feeling for Boston.
His move to the more politically conservative state of Colorado might explain why Thomas has been so noncommittal when asked about retiring as a Bruin. He also wasn't very forthcoming in declaring his happiness as a member of the Bruins organization after the team fell to the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs this season.
One source said that part of the reason for Thomas move was a desire to potentially work with the Team USA hockey program in Colorado Springs once his playing career was over. But that doesnt explain the odd timing of a player moving his family while the regular season was still ongoing.
While the move to Colorado doesnt make any definitive statement about Thomas future with the Bruins or lend any weight to the rumors that he may be traded once his no-trade clause is removed on July 1, it does raise questions about his overall happiness and comfort level in the place where he became an NHL star.
It remains to be seen if Thomas will be in Boston come September to supply the reasons behind his unorthodox mid-season move during what was already a stressful regular season.