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Boston Bruins meet the president; Goalie Tim Thomas skips out

Scott Levin's picture

The 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins enjoyed their moment of celebration at the White House on Monday, but goalie Tim Thomas was curiously absent from the festivities.

President Obama welcomed the victorious squad in what has become a customary event for professional sports champions. The team presented the president with a No. 11 Boston Bruins jersey with "OBAMA" on the back, while President Obama congratulated the players with a speech and photos.

But Tim Thomas, the Bruins standout netminder and most valuable player of the 2011 playoffs, was a no-show. It appears the move was politically-motivated.

"Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs and he chose not to join us," Bruins team president Cam Neely told ESPN Boston. "We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us, but that's his choice. Obviously it's not a choice that most of the guys, all the guys came except for Tim. That's his decision and his choice."

Thomas has never hid from the fact that he is a Republican.

Thomas' teammates seemed to relish the opportunity to meet President Obama, but nobody was openly critical of Thomas' decision to pass on the event. President Obama even touched on Thomas when commemorating the Bruins championship run.

"Tim Thomas posted two shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals and set an all-time record for saves in the postseason and he also earned the honor being only the second American ever to be recognized as the Stanley Cup playoff's MVP," President Obama said.

Thomas has yet to reveal a reason for his absence, but he told reporters that he would soon release a statement through Facebook outlining his decision.

The Bruins goalie was magnificent during the team's playoff run last season. Thomas won all 16 postseason games for Boston, posting four shutouts and a 1.98 goals against average. One shutout was in the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks; the Bruins won 4-0 to take the Cup.

This season, Thomas has continued to shine while sharing time in net with Tuukka Rask. Thomas is 20-9 with four shutouts and a 2.12 goals against average. Rask has made it easier for the team to rest the 37-year-old Thomas, as Rask has gone 11-4-2 in his games.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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