New USHHOFer Tim Thomas doesn’t rule out Bruins banner captain appearance

Matt Kalman
September 04, 2019 - 7:19 pm

Newly elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas broke years of silence (at least publicly) to thank USA Hockey for making his part of this year’s five-person class, and also to take some questions.

Thomas addressed whether one day he could see himself coming back to Boston to be a banner captain before a game in the Stanley Cup playoffs or to do anything as part of the Bruins’ crowd at TD Garden.

“With the state of my nervous system since I retired, I wouldn’t be able to hardly handle the energy of the crowd in Boston,” Thomas said after a long pause. “So this isn’t as simple as it may seem. Having said that, you never know what the future may hold. And you know I’m just taking life as it goes.”

Thomas, unsurprisingly, didn’t elaborate of the “state of his nervous system.” As he alluded to earlier in the conference call, after his playing days he “decided to keep what I’ve been doing with my life, and learning, to myself at this point for sure, and probably forever.”

Regardless of your opinion of Tim Thomas the man, Tim Thomas the goaltender certainly deserved this election along with his classmates, Brian Gionta, Gary Bettman, Neal Henderson and Krissy Wendell.

Thomas won the Vezina Trophy twice with Boston (2009, 2011) and of course was the backbone of the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

"Anybody who could just semi put themselves in my shoes for just a minute, with that season, it was amazing for me, it was amazing for my teammates, it was amazing for the city," Thomas said of 2011. "It was an amazing year. I think it's similar for every team that wins a championship, whatever city they're in. But my experience was in Boston. The energy the two million people projected in that parade that we had after we won, it was pretty wild."

But Thomas’ success went beyond his nine-year NHL career. At Vermont before he turned pro he set the Catamounts’ record for games played (140), wins (81) and saves (3,950). He represented Team USA at the World Championship seven times and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Thomas’ NHL career ended after he spent time with Florida and Dallas, after he’d quit on the Bruins after the 2011-12 season. That season was tarnished by the controversy he caused not joining the team on its visit to the White House, plus some political Facebook posts he made.

He revealed that his daughter recently earned an internship with the Bruins and admitted that the 2019 playoffs were the first time he started watching hockey again because he saw Boston was doing well. But he doesn’t foresee a scenario where he ever gets back into hockey.

"As far as me getting more involved with the game of hockey, I just don't see it,” he said. “I have other interests. … I live in a totally different world than the hockey world that I lived in before."