Since retiring from the NHL after the 2014 season, we have not heard much at all from Tim Thomas.
The former Boston Bruins goaltender, who led to the B’s to a Stanley Cup in 2011 with a Conn Smythe-winning performance and whose decision to skip the team’s White House visit made national headlines, has avoided the spotlight entirely since stepping away from the game.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Thomas would be among those to be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame alongside NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, former forward Brian Gionta, Neal Henderson and U.S women’s star Krissy Wendell on Dec. 12 in Washington D.C.
That prompted the grizzled former goalie to break his years-long silence with the media.
“Everybody probably knows nowadays I don’t actually have all that much to say, at least publicly,” Thomas said on a conference call with reporters via the Associated Press. “Obviously I’ve decided to keep what I’ve been doing with my life and learning to myself at this point, for sure, and probably forever.”
Thomas became the oldest player to win the Conn Smythe after a dazzling performance in which he carried a 1.98 goals against average and .940 save percentage through 25 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He said that the Bruins’ run to the Cup Final this summer was the first hockey he’s watched since retiring. Thomas was a popular rumored pick to be a banner captain for the B’s during their playoff run.
“With the state of my nervous system since I retired, I wouldn’t be able to hardly handle the energy of the crowd in Boston,” Thomas said. “So it isn’t as simple as it may seem. Having said that, you never know what the future may hold. I’m just taking life as it goes.”
He went on to say that he currently does not have a relationship with the game and doesn’t foresee getting back involved in the sport.
“I just don’t see it,” Thomas said. “I have other interests. I have a totally other focus. I live in a totally different world than the hockey world that I lived in before. I live a long ways away from Boston, and it’s not that fun for me to travel anymore. It isn’t anything to do with the Boston Bruins or the Boston fans, especially. My goodness, they loved the crap out of me when I was there to the point where it was hard to handle.
“I don’t personally have any relationship with the game,” he added. “My focus and mind is on learning about other stuff. I learned so much about hockey and that area. I feel like I’ve learned as much as I needed to learn about it. My focus is on learning about other stuff.”
Thomas won the Vezina Trophy twice in Boston, and carried a 196-121 record with the Black and Gold. In nine seasons, he had a 2.52 GAA and .920 save percentage.