Thomas gives Obama the brush-off

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas waves to the fans as he leaves the ice after defeating the Canucks at...

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas waves to the fans as he leaves the ice after defeating the Canucks at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., June 13, 2011. (ADAM HUNGER/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:59 PM ET

Tim Thomas isn't just a good goalie, he's a rather feisty right winger, too.

The Boston Bruins were honoured Monday at the White House for capturing the Stanley Cup last spring, and virtually everyone showed up -- even the usually invisible Tomas Kaberle.

But the star of the 2010-11 Bruins stayed away. Thomas -- the lone American on the team to get his name on the trophy -- opted to snub U.S. President Barack Obama.

Apparently there is no "Tim" in "team."

Even the Bruins brass couldn't convince the goalie to attend ... heck, he could have put on his mask and gone incognito.

"Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs and he chose not to join us," Bruins president Cam Neely told Comcast Sportsnet New England. "We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us, but that's his choice."

General manager Peter Chiarelli said he had discussed the issue with Thomas for several months. Chiarelli said he could suspend the 38-year-old goalie for skipping a team event but that he wouldn't.

Thomas is known for having strong conservative leanings and has been called a "Tea Party patriot."

He released a statement on his Facebook page Monday evening.

"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People," Thomas wrote.

"This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

"Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL."

Thomas won the Vezina Trophy last season as the NHL's top goalie and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.

Reaction was mixed, with some media members criticizing Thomas of political opportunism, with others respecting his willingness to take a stand.


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