At this point I have no clue what to say. The bizarre case of Tim Thomas continued on Sunday as he announced that he will in fact take the year off from hockey. Some observers believe that all this is just a smoke screen on Tim’s part because his NTC expires on July 1st and this will help dictate where he wants to go. Some however believe what he’s saying and nobody seems to know the truth.
It’s just like that 80’s/early 90’s sitcom that is “to be continued…” the vaunted cliffhanger that leaves next week’s episode a must watch. I recall when Will told Uncle Phil that he was staying in Philadelphia and across the screen it said “Fresh Prince of Philadelphia???” I was rattled to say the least. I found myself not doing my homework, failing to clean up my room, and worse yet I spent hours playing video games. Well much like that episode of Fresh Prince where we had to wait the summer to find out, we will at least have to wait a few weeks before we know what’s actually up with Thomas.
But I will say this: he seems to be a very deep guy. The White House incident was big proof of that. Last year in the playoffs he had an attitude that was perfect for the situation, kind of like he didn’t care if they won or lost. Perhaps he doesn’t. There are plenty of athletes that aren’t overly passionate about the sport they play. They may play hard and work hard, but some don’t eat/sleep/breathe their sport like many assume they do.
People had the same kind of reaction when Ricky Williams retired out of nowhere right before the 2004 NFL season. People were all over Ricky for a myriad of reasons. Then we came to find out (eventually) that he was an extremely deep and extremely complex individual.
So I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about Thomas. But even if this is about trying to force the Bruins hand because he knows they will deal him…so what? So he doesn’t want to be dealt to the 30th place Columbus Blue Jackets or the 29th place Edmonton Oilers, or the San Jose Sharks who are declining and have a brutal travel schedule. Could you really blame a guy for wanting to have some control over his future? Wouldn’t you want that?
As I said in a previous blog I would guess he ends up in Tampa Bay. He is tight with ex college teammate Marty St.Louis, they are pretty desperate for a number 1 goaltender, and the ownership group will be able to stomach the 5 mil for only 1 season (as opposed to Luongo getting 5+ mil for 10 seasons). I can’t see Toronto being possible because I doubt Chiarelli would deal him in division, but if I had a 2nd and 3rd in spots he could end up I would guess Detroit (which being from Flint I’m sure he would like) and Chicago.
It’s a pretty bizarre story going on right now. No matter what, weather Thomas is being sincere or just trying to gain some leverage, I wouldn’t judge the man until we know all the facts.