NHL Notes: Mass. governor takes shot at Thomas

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas talks to the media on the eve of Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup...

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas talks to the media on the eve of Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final hockey playoff in Vancouver, British Columbia June 14, 2011. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)

QMI Agnecy

, Last Updated: 7:24 PM ET

The governor of Massachusetts added his voice to the growing clamour knocking Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas for skipping his team's visit to the White House Monday.

Gov. Deval Patrick said during the "Ask the Governor" program on WTKK-FM Thursday that Thomas showed disrespect for the presidency by not showing up for the traditional event.

"He's a phenomenal hockey player and he's entitled to his views," Patrick said. "It just feels like we are losing in this country basic courtesy and grace."

Thomas didn't attend the ceremony with President Barack Obama honouring the Stanley Cup champs, later saying he was protesting an out of control federal government that is "threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people." Thomas was the MVP of the Stanley Cup final.

NIITTYMAKI CLEARS

San Jose Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki cleared waivers Thursday, accordind to the San Jose Mercury News.

The Sharks are trying to trade Niittymaki, who missed a good chunk of the season after having hip surgery in the summer, but for now he will stay with the NHl club as its third goalie. Antti Niemi and Thomas Greiss are ahead of Niittymaki on the depth chart.

"I know they've been working hard to find a place for me to play," Niittymaki told the Mercury News. "It's probably not as easy as it sounds because I've been out with the surgery and I've only played games in the minors."

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson hasn't been able to work out a deal for Niittymaki even though there's been some interest.

HEDMAN HOPEFUL

Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman is targetting Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals for his return to action.

Hedman has been out with a concussion since Dec. 27 but he's champing at the bit to play again.

"Being off the ice is the worst thing," he told the Tampa Tribune. "I'm just trying to get back, and whether that is Tuesday or a couple of games after that, I don't know. But my goal is to play in the next game."

Hedman has been skating with the Lightning but still hasn't been cleared for contact.

CATS, SHARKS SWAP

The Florida Panthers traded forward Tim Kennedy to the San Jose Sharks Thursday for minor-league defenceman Sean Sullivan.

In 27 games with the Panthers this season, Kennedy had just one goal and one assist. In 112 career NHL games with Florida and Buffalo, the 25-year-old has 11 goals and 18 assists.

Sullivan had five goals and 19 assists in 32 games with Worcester of the AHL.


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