UPDATE: On Sunday afternoon, a post on Tim Thomas’ official Facebook page confirmed the rumors that the Davison native was taking a year off from professional hockey. Here was what was posted:
From the earliest age I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a hockey player. I’ve been blessed in my life to not only be able to live that dream, but to achieve more than I ever thought possible.
The singleminded focus that is necessary to accomplish a dream of this magnitude entails (by necessity) sacrifice in other areas and relationships in life.
At the age of 38, I believe it is time to put my time and energies into those areas and relationships that I have neglected. That is why at this time I feel the most important thing I can do in my life is to reconnect with the three F’s.
Friends, Family, and Faith.
This is what I plan on doing over the course of the next year.
What does this portend for the future?
We’ll see….God’s will be done.
If this really is from Thomas, then it seems likely that the Bruins will be without their star goaltender next season.
MiHockey’s article from Friday:
By Stefan Kubus -
While Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli held a conference call this afternoon to discuss the signing of Chris Bourque and re-signing of Daniel Paille, the real anticipation was to hear Chiarelli shed some light on Tim Thomas’ potential year-long sabbatical.
Rumors of Thomas, the 38-year-old Flint native, taking the 2012-13 season off surfaced late Thursday night, but the big question was obviously whether or not there was any truth to it.
According to the Bruins’ official Twitter account, Chiarelli confirmed in a conference call today that Thomas came to the team, saying he is seriously considering taking a year off.
“We’d have to deal [with the loss of Thomas for the season] and we will,” said Chiarelli via the Bruins’ Twitter account. “I’d be more than satisfied with Tuukka [Rask] and [Anton] Khudobin as our goaltenders.”
Paille, Thomas’ teammate who also was on the Cup-winning squad in 2011, hinted that it’s a family-related issue.
“He cares deeply about his family, and that’s what he’s focusing on above everything else,” said Paille via the Bruins’ Twitter account.
The former Davison High School goaltender won the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy in 2011 with the Bruins, as well as two Vezina Trophies in 2009 and 2011. The four-time all-star also became the first goaltender to win those three trophies in the same season (2011) since Bernie Parent in 1975.
Chiarelli admitted he was caught off guard when Thomas informed him of the potential leave of absence, and suggested that he is open to the possibility of trading his all-star goaltender.
“I respect what he’s trying to do, but yeah, I was surprised originally,” Chiarelli said. “He’s a world-class goalie. He’d help somebody in a big way if he decided to play.”
Now, while Thomas’ four-year contract signed back in 2009 doesn’t expire until the end of next season, his no-trade clause will on July 1st, which marks the beginning of free agency.
With future No. 1 netminder Tuukka Rask, 25, waiting in the wings, it gives Chiarelli the option to more easily move Thomas.