BOSTON -- With a day off from practice, the last place you'd expect to find Tim Thomas would be TD Garden.
But the 37-year-old goaltender has been working in earnest to get the Tim Thomas Foundation off the ground, and he announced on Tuesday that the Arbella Insurance Group was entering into a multiyear partnership with the TT Foundation that includs a 20,000 gift. Thomas has been putting together fundraisers and collecting partners for his charity.
Our hearts are in the same place, and that really makes it a good working relationship, said Thomas of pairing together with Arbella. Im just trying to take advantage of the position that Im in to do the most good that I can. Ive come to the realization that Im more popular and well-known than I probably want to be, but I can really do some good with that.
To be perfectly honest, I was wholly unprepared for things to blow up like they have . . . to get recognized all the time when I walk down the street. For me it was just about competing as hard as I could in every single game, and deep down finding out how much I could actually accomplish while I still had the ability to play. There is still more to add to that, though.
The mission of Thomas' foundation is to support the underdog, whether the underdog position was developed due to lack of opportunity, lack of education, illness or a disaster." The first fundraiser helped New England families decimated by the hurricane in Vermont and the tornadoes in Central Massachusetts, and Thomas commissioned a Movember Moustache goalie mask to be raffled off for charity at the end of the month.
All of it is fresh and new for Thomas, but hes excited to see how many lives he can touch with his foundation.
Clearly this is the perfect time for Thomas to start his charitable endeavors, given the glow that's still emanating from Vezina Trophy-, Conn Smythe- and Stanley Cup-winning season. Thomas is off to a solid start this year, too, with a 5-4 record, .931 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average, and looks like he hasnt lost anything at age 37.
With a pair of Vezina trophies, a Stanley Cup championship and a Conn Smythe trophy to his name along with a Johnny Bower-style, rags-to-riches, late-career story, Thomas could arguably make a push for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
But hes trying not to set goals for himself in the bigger picture when his team is just starting to get things together when it comes to the important little things.
Ive discussed it a few times, and the opinion changes from time-to-time depending on how I feel, said Thomas. The conclusion Ive come to is that I want to play it year-by-year and see how it goes. Ive heard a lot of professional athletes say that when they get a little older, and I never understood it.
When youre young, you have this plan to be in the NHL by the age of 25 and do this thing or that thing. But then after awhile you toss all of that out because things never according to the plan anyway. You just learn to go with the flow.
Thomas flow has been downright historic during his tenure with the Bruins, and his standout play along with his budding foundation to benefit those in need within New England are true signs the Bs goaltender is here to stay for as long as wants.