OTTAWA — Earlier this week, Tim Thomas made a big-time political statement by choosing to skip the Boston Bruins' trip to the White House honoring them for winning the Stanley Cup. Thomas, a well-known conservative and not a big fan of President Obama, made the statement that it wasn't about politics and that he wouldn't talk about the subject.
Everyone knew that wasn't going to happen, and Thomas bristled at White House questions again Friday when in Ottawa for NHL All-Star weekend.
"[The controversy] is all media-driven and it has been from the start. Everything that I said and did was as an individual. It was not as a representative of the Boston Bruins," Thomas said. "All it has to do is with me. But it's separate from hockey. That's my personal life, and those are my personal views. Those are my personal beliefs.
"It has nothing to do with hockey. It has nothing to do with this All-Star Game. It has nothing to do with the Boston Bruins."
Thomas was pulled away from his interview session after just a few minutes.
On Monday after being conspicuously absent from the trip, Thomas put out a statement on his Facebook page about why he didn't go.
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. 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," Thomas wrote. "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."
Suter: no new deal with Predators by deadline
Ryan Suter very well may still be a defenseman for the Nashville Predators next season, but he won't sign a new contract before February's trade deadline.
The impending unrestricted free agent announced that Friday in Ottawa.
"I don't see it being a benefit by hurrying up and trying to get something done," Suter said at NHL All-Star weekend media availability. "I'm a Nashville Predator until July. I will focus on making my team better."
Suter said he would be "more of a distraction than anything" to sign a new deal in February.
"We've never had a timeline or deadline," Suter said. "We're just focusing on winning. Everything else will take care of itself."
Suter's name has been bandied about in trade rumors, with the Philadelphia Flyers considered the favorites (but among many interested) to land him if Nashville decides to trade him.
All-Star captain Zdeno Chara watched last season as Vancouver Canucks brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin were split up during the fantasy draft.
That wasn't happening this time. When Daniel Alfredsson took Daniel, Chara knew he wasn't going to select Henrik.
"I didn't want to create controversy," Chara said.
Instead, he allowed Alfredsson to choose all the Swedes and Ottawa Senators. He took all the Bruins and a couple Slovaks, Marian Hossa and Marian Gaborik.
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