OTTAWA Tim Thomas appreciated his captain and teammate Zdeno Chara selecting him with his second pick in the NHL All-Star Player Draft on Friday night at the Hilton Lac Leamy hotel.
Chara tapped Pavel Datsyuk with his first choice because of his great respect and admiration for the Red Wings superstar, and then wasted no time bringing the Bs goalie out to the stage.
The embattled Thomas under scrutiny for skipping out on a White House ceremony with his Stanley Cup winning teammates due to political reasons further appreciated the support hes received from both his Bs teammates and his NHL All-Star brethren.
He was asked if any of his All-Star peers tossed any ribbing his way over the decision to boycott the White House, and it seemed Thomas answered on behalf of both his Bruins and All-Star teammates.
They have given their full and unwavering support, and I really appreciate that, said Thomas. I did address it. Everything I said in my Facebook statement is what I believe to be absolute truth. I dont believe I need to revisit something that I stated so clearly.
The 37-year-old goalie has been unerringly clear about his desire to close discussions on his individual choice to skip the President Obama visit. Thomas reiterated that several times on Thursday night, and said that he instead hopes the NHL All-Star weekend focus will be on hockey in Ottawa.
This weekend is a celebration of hockey. This game of hockey is a great and its obviously given so much to me, said Thomas. 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.
Theres a fair chance that will happen now that hes addressed the issue head on in front of the national hockey media at one of the leagues showpiece events, and it certainly helped that his Bruins teammates stood behind him. Chara used his actions of selecting Thomas to make his support statement, and Seguin filled in the blanks with his words afterward.
Timmy is the best goaltender in the world and any chance to give him recognition is beyond well-deserved, said Seguin. In the end hes got his opinions. My opinion on his situation doesnt matter in the end. I had a good time at the White House and its something Ill always remember.
I dont really want him to have to be angry or get put on the spot. Either way whether its a good or a bad choice hes still my teammate and Ill have his back on it.
The one question Thomas refused to answer: His reaction to a report Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick called his Monday actions intimated his actions showed a lack of "respect" or "grace."Thomas response was an emphatic no comment and there may be many more of those in the goalies future when the inevitable questions are posed for the rest of this weekend.