Tim Thomas speaks about his post-hockey life

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,135
306, row 14
Sounds like Tim Thomas has been in a very rough place since retiring from hockey. I think most assumed and joked around that he just took off and retired and to his bunker in Colorado. He’s reappeared in public this week as he is being honored and entering into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. He was at the Bruins game last night and had a media availability today as part of his HoF induction.

As it turns out, he’s been struggling with concussions since his retirement and was at a point where he hated the game and could t watch it.

View: https://twitter.com/emilymkaplan/status/1205230813538856962?s=21


View: https://twitter.com/craigcustance/status/1205232472490946565?s=21


Just a few tweets for now, but hopefully there’s more coming from people who were there. Hope he’s in a better place now.
 

tmracht

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
399
Wow that explains quite a bit. Still have the paper clipping of him hoisting the cup hanging in my office.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
30,883
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I made a snarky comment on twitter about being surprised he didn't resurface with a long beard and a MAGA hat, but once I read his comments I sobered up very quickly. It certainly sounds like he was badly damaged and in a very dark place after retiring, and only now can start speaking about his issues. Lord knows well enough that I wasn't a huge fan of his as a player until 2011, but this is pretty heart-wrenching to hear.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,906
Good on him for speaking out now too. Really hard to hear - I hope he knows how much he means to Bruins fans and hope he gets a chance to come back to Boston (if he wants).

I wasn't his biggest fan either but 2011 will forever overshadow everything.
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,386
This makes me sad but also glad to hear him talking about it. So many of the players I root for and enjoy following day to day that play contact sports are going to have a severely diminished quality of life after their playing days due to head trauma. I’m glad the risks are better understood now so that those that play the games go in with eyes wide open however the long term damage that concussions do really leaves a bitter taste in my mouth particularly with respect to the NFL and NHL.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
30,883
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I can't find the post now, but last night someone on reddit linked to an album of all of Thomas' different masks that he used in his final year in the NHL with Florida and Dallas. Many, many different combinations of helmet and mask, some older-looking than others. I wonder if he was struggling to find something that would alliviate some of the symptons he was experiencing after his injury.

EDIT: Aha, I found the image link.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,906
I can't find the post now, but last night someone on reddit linked to an album of all of Thomas' different masks that he used in his final year in the NHL with Florida and Dallas. Many, many different combinations of helmet and mask, some older-looking than others. I wonder if he was struggling to find something that would alliviate some of the symptons he was experiencing after his injury.
I always loved his mask in 2011 and how different the cage was. I forget where I read it, but he said the cage bars were all shaped as squares, because your eyes and brain naturally process square images easier, whereas any rounded images take more brainpower to process. He felt like it was much easier to see out of it for that reason, which I always fascinating even if the science wasn't true.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
30,883
Deep inside Muppet Labs


Yup, he didn't use the traditional cats-eye cage, he used this one which I don't think any other goalie was using at the time.

But then in Florida he wasn't using a full mask at all, he was using almost an 80s-style mask/cage combo, like Osgood used to wear.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
6,800
Gallows Hill
Imagine playing 15 years of pro hockey, and getting a severe concussion because some dope on your team takes a clapper off your head in warm ups? It’s great to see that he’s in a good place mentally now and can talk about it. Hopefully he can attend a playoff game or two this year.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
8,582
I'll always associate Tim Thomas as the guy who came up during the Dark Days of the post-Thornton trade Bruins, and subsequently helped stabilize the goalie situation. His steady hand allowed the Bruins to ship Raycroft off to Toronto, which netted Boston Tuukka in return, a trade that has worked out remarkably well for them.

I realize he was a bit of a polarizing figure here in these forums. IIRC, part of that was his above-market contract, which really wasn't his fault. He did win the Vezina twice, joining Frank Brimsek and Tiny Thompson as the only Bruins to win the award more than once. And IMO, he earned every penny of that contract in 2011. I recall during the post-game press conference after Game 7, he was genuinely excited to have his name on the same trophy as Ken Dryden and Bernie Parent.

You do have to wonder if he had other, unreported or undiagnosed concussions prior to the one in Florida. I do hope he's able to get himself into a good place long term and enjoy his time with his family. If there was a Bruins Hall of Fame, I would have no issue with the team adding his name to the list.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
18,599
Newton
Like everyone, I’m thrilled to hear him talk about this. Your heart breaks for any athlete who goes through this type of thing. But what’s with all the “I wasn’t his biggest fan” stuff?

I hated his politics and his refusal to meet with Obama. But Jesus Christ, the dude almost singlehandedly is the reason the Bruins raised the Cup in 2011.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,906
Like everyone, I’m thrilled to hear him talk about this. Your heart breaks for any athlete who goes through this type of thing. But what’s with all the “I wasn’t his biggest fan” stuff?

I hated his politics and his refusal to meet with Obama. But Jesus Christ, the dude almost singlehandedly is the reason the Bruins raised the Cup in 2011.
There were some very passionate arguments about his ability/value/etc before the Cup run in 2011. That obviously changed everything and shut SJH up for good. :)
 

NYCSox

chris hansen of goats
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 19, 2004
8,499
Some fancy town in CT
I think the critiques of his play were because his quirky style of goaltending sometimes led to soft goals - or at least rebounds that maybe someone like Rask wouldn't allow. On the other hand, that same style led to some outrageous Hasek like saves, especially in 2011 (watch some of the Habs and Bolts games again).

Always a fan of the guy and glad he's getting to a better place in his life.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
30,883
Deep inside Muppet Labs
It was the rebounds. Always the rebounds and soft goals.

Before the 2011 season he had hip surgery and his form that year was NOTICABLY improved. The criticisms of his game prior to that year were entirely deserved. Remember that the year before Thomas had been benched in the playoffs for a very young Rask.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
13,023
Tuukka's refugee camp
Yeah, he was legitimately not good in 2009. 2.56 GAA seems decent but a .915 sv% was not good. He had an unorthodox style, so we certainly weren't used to seeing that, and once he started to suck, our "concerns" were validated. Then he won the Cup, a Conn Smythe, and another Vezina, so that largely shut us the hell up.

Edit: Oh man, I forgot Marty Turco suited up for the B's in the 2012 season. What a trainwreck that was.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
21,439
right here
Good on him for speaking out now too. Really hard to hear - I hope he knows how much he means to Bruins fans and hope he gets a chance to come back to Boston (if he wants).

I wasn't his biggest fan either but 2011 will forever overshadow everything.
View: https://twitter.com/JoeGiza/status/1205249718995079169


First thoughts when seeing this was hoping it would open the door to him coming back for a game. Perfect excuse to recognize him for his hall of fame induction....
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,906
Yeah, he was legitimately not good in 2009. 2.56 GAA seems decent but a .915 sv% was not good. He had an unorthodox style, so we certainly weren't used to seeing that, and once he started to suck, our "concerns" were validated. Then he won the Cup, a Conn Smythe, and another Vezina, so that largely shut us the hell up.

Edit: Oh man, I forgot Marty Turco suited up for the B's in the 2012 season. What a trainwreck that was.
Some of of the goalies who have played for the Bruins since 2005 are amazing trivia question answers.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,906
Some of of the goalies who have played for the Bruins since 2005 are amazing trivia question answers.
But what's amazing is that Tuukka and Tim Thomas have played every minute of every single playoff game since 2008 except for one, and they've started them all. They've only been pulled in a playoff game ONCE in 139 playoff games. That's ridiculous.
 
Last edited:

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
17,906
No one started one. Khudobin played 1 game in relief of Tuukka, I think against Ottawa?

I worded that terribly.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2007
9,404
Between here and everywhere.
I have this video bookmarked, and watch it occasionally.

It's truly amazing the Bruins won the Cup in 2011. They don't win it without Tim Thomas. It honestly may be the greatest post season goalie performance of all time. He made saves he had no right to make time, and time again.

Watch this, and see if you can count any less than 15 saves no other goalie on the planet makes.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9x6EIgoAtjs&fbclid=IwAR3R0rio8Pyhr-FOFC2-qaplR6egGMfmRkwotmWJbW95oIqu8-tmZQz8td0
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2007
9,404
Between here and everywhere.
The save on Gionta is one of my most vivid memories of the 2011 run. That game was over.
The one against Downie at 3:16 of that video is the one for me where I just shake my head in laugh. It's so Thomas. Way too far out of his crease, by sheer luck and force of will he recovers and gets his paddle in the way just enough to stop a sure goal.

:28 seconds is the Gionta save.
 

locknload

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,068
Haverhill MA
I was lucky enough to be able to go to that event and have a 4-5 minute discussion with Tim afterward. He put up with my couple minutes of pure fan-boying before getting into a discussion about head trauma, depression, and how it took him 2 hours every day to just get into a place where he could face the day. I don't think anyone knew how hard it was for him and guess it shows that you never know what shit they have to deal with to get themselves through everyday life. He was super nice even though clearly a bit anxious about the attention until most of the crowd cleared out and it was small group conversation.

Also Gionta is crazy short.