Bruins’ Thomas, a king of contradiction

Thomas/By S. Bradley

WILMINGTON, Mass. — Tim Thomas wants to keep his personal life and his professional life separate.

So, of course, he takes to a multi-national social networking site to post his political beliefs for anyone that “likes” his page to read.

Tim Thomas, who famously skipped the Bruins’ White House visit a couple weeks ago and posted his reasoning on Facebook, took to the online giant again Wednesday to let people know what he thinks about a recent healthcare policy involving contraception. Today after practice, he was met by a swarm of reporters with questions about his post.

But Tim Thomas didn’t want to talk about his posts, so he plead “the fifth.” When you’re trying to position yourself as a high-minded expert on politics and history, you probably shouldn’t reveal your ignorance about when you invoke an amendment from the Bill of Rights. There’s no crime in this case, so Thomas can’t “plead the fifth,” unless you consider it a crime that the fantastic chemistry the Bruins have built since they dropped a 3-0 lead to Philadelphia is being put at risk by a me-first goaltender.

Ever since the Bruins made negative history in the spring of 2010, they’ve had an us-against-the-world attitude that paid off last June with the ultimate prize. Now Tim Thomas, by far the biggest reason the Stanley Cup championship drought ended last season, is drawing attention away from the team and hockey and then not answering for his actions.

Here’s my CBS Boston piece on Thomas’ latest go-around with the media after practice today. It should be noted, that Thomas would be within his rights to just not be in the locker room when players are supposed to be available to the media. Instead, he stands there and after answering a couple questions about hocke,y he refuses to answer most of the questions related to his Facebook post. He says his opinions are personal, but they appear on his public Facebook page, which features numerous pictures of him in Bruins gear and playing hockey. These aren’t opinions overheard between Thomas and a friend. He’s made the conscious decision to share his thoughts with the world.

That this contradiction is completely lost on Thomas, and that he’s only bold enough to make controversial statements when he has Facebook to hide behind, just accentuates the notion that Thomas is only interested in garnering more attention for himself and not the issues he’s allegedly passionate about. If he cared so much about big government or mandatory contraception, Thomas would use his spotlight as a star to make the case for or against those issues. Instead, it’s a cat-and-mouse game he plays with the media. He could explain why he’s chosen the middle of the Bruins’ Cup defense to suddenly become publicly political for the first time in his 38 years on Earth. He throws these grenades from afar, which even if head coach Claude Julien and Thomas’ teammates say they aren’t a distraction, if they keep going off around the dressing room they will continue to reduce the amount of hockey being discussed and could throw the Bruins off their game.

If the Bruins are wise, they’ll give Thomas a lesson in Facebook privacy controls. Perhaps they have already, and the goaltender’s ego is just too big to control. He has a right to do as he wants, even if it brings down the Bruins’ attempts at a Cup championship repeat. Thomas can plead whatever amendment he wants, but if this season ends with the Bruins anywhere but center ice with the Cup, and New England believes Thomas proved to be a distraction, he might be pleading forgiveness.

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