Thomas appreciates 'unwavering support' from team

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Thomas appreciates 'unwavering support' from team

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.

Ainge: Isaiah Thomas visiting hip specialists, no decision yet on surgery

Ainge: Isaiah Thomas visiting hip specialists, no decision yet on surgery

BOSTON – The last 2 1/2 games for the Celtics have come without Isaiah Thomas (right hip) and it has certainly been a factor in Boston trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals heading into tonight’s must-win for the Celtics to keep their season alive.
 
There have been rumors that if the series with Cleveland were closer, maybe that would lead to a return to the floor for Thomas.
 
“No. No way. He’s done [this season],” Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s "Toucher & Rich" show this morning.
 
Ainge said there’s still swelling in the hip, and it probably won’t go down enough for doctors to make a determination whether surgery is needed for another couple weeks.

Thomas was in New York City earlier this week visiting a hip specialist. He's expected to consult with at least two more before making a decision as to what's the best course of treatment.
 
“Everybody agrees if there’s anything that needs to be done to it surgically, it helps...if the inflammation goes down,” Ainge said. “The recovery [time] would be quicker.”
 
The injury initially occurred on March 15 against Minnesota.
 
Ainge said he didn’t become too concerned about it until after Thomas re-aggravated it in Game 6 of the second-round series against Washington and was questionable to play in Game 7.
 
“I was worried going into the Cleveland series that he was nowhere near himself in Game 1 or 2,” Ainge said. “And Game 2 in the second quarter it was clear he was in a lot of pain. No way we could go out and allow him to play the second half.”
 
Boston was blown out 130-86 in Game 2. In the first half, Thomas had two points and six assists, while missing all six of his shots from the field.
 
Ainge said there was “a lot” of irritation and inflammation around the affected joint in Thomas' right hip.
 
“It had gotten worse from the MRIs he had before,” said Ainge, who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”
 

Butler reaction to Gilmore signing: 'We got another good player'

Butler reaction to Gilmore signing: 'We got another good player'

FOXBORO -- Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium gave reporters their first opportunity to see both Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore on the field at the same time.

Once Gilmore signed with the Patriots earlier this offseason, there was no guarantee he'd actually team up with the 27-year-old in his fourth season out of West Alabama. But Butler wasn't given an offer sheet by the Saints or anyone else, he wasn't traded, and now together they make up one of the most talented cornerback duos in the NFL. 

"Um, nothing much really," Butler replied when asked for his initial reaction to the Gilmore deal. "Nothing much really. We got a better player. We got another player. We got another good player on this team. Anything to help the team win, I'm down with."

Depite the fact that Gilmore is the one who received the big-money contract from the Patriots earlier this year, Butler had nothing but good things to say about his teammate following Thursday's workout. 

"He brings the size and the coverage skills," Butler said. "One of the best guys in the league. Very underrated. [He's] come in, head down, working hard. Just trying to build off each other no matter what."

Butler acknowledged that the corner group, which also includes Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones, has some work to do when it comes to their communication, but he indicated he'll be happy to chip in wherever he's needed. The Patriots could use some help in the slot following Logan Ryan's departure to Tennessee, and Butler said he'd be open to playing inside.

"Wherever they put me, I'm gonna play that role," he said. "I'm ready to play the slot if that's what it is."