Tim Thomas Declines to Attend Bruins’ White House Visit With President Barack Obama

The defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins paid President Barack Obama a visit at the White House on Monday. The team's MVP during that thrilling Cup run was not among the attendees, though.

Tim Thomas, one of two Americans on the Bruins roster, decided to skip the White House event, general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

Thomas plans to publicly explain his decision on his Facebook page at around 6 p.m. on Monday, but Chiarelli did discuss the goaltender's absence. He noted that the Bruins are a family, and therefore, they have their issues, but that those in attendance seemed to enjoy the event.

Chiarelli also said that he will not hold Thomas' absence against him, as the event was not mandatory, and Thomas' decision was his to make.

"I can require someone to attend a team event. If they don't, I can suspend him," Chiarelli said. "I'm not suspending Tim. Whatever his position is, it isn't reflective of the Boston Bruins nor my own. But I'm not suspending him."

Steven Kampfer, the team's other American-born player, attended the event, as did everyone else from last year's team, including Mark Recchi, Tomas Kaberle and Shane Hnidy.

Update: Read Thomas' statement on his absence by clicking here.