Bruins

Bruins teammates react as Thomas decides to walk away

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Bruins teammates react as Thomas decides to walk away

So now Tim Thomas has posted his Facebook message and appears to have played his last game as a member of the Boston Bruins.

It was a glorious, borderline Hall of Fame career on the ice, and a quirky journey off it that ended disappointingly with the 38-year-old goaltender walking away from his career-long organization with no more than an eight paragraph posting on a social message board.

The goalie didnt expressly state that he had definitely decided to sit out the 2012-13 season, but hell never be welcomed back to the Black and Gold after pulling a stunt that basically served as the final straw.

Thomas is still an ultra-talented, unique goaltender in the twilight of an unlikely career, but it appears that a good deal of his teammates had tired of answering all the questions surrounding his eccentric choices and political leanings.

One anonymous Bruins teammate reached for comment on Sunday had nothing meaningful to say about Thomas exit, and instead texted CSNNE.com back with the response: Good for Tuukka?

The reference, of course, was to Tuukka Rask taking over the starting goalie reigns while serving as a popular teammate in the Bs dressing room.

Thomas decision to sit out for the season appears to have a number of different factors behind it: occupational burnout, family considerations, uneasiness with a potential trade away from the Bruins after July 1 and just some plain, good, old-fashioned goofiness.

He termed it as time to focus on the family, friends and faith that he sometimes neglected during his hockey career.

Nobody on the team begrudged Thomas leaving the team to be with his family in Colorado, and rightfully so.

But it was clear his teammates also recognized the Vezina Trophy level goaltending they might be missing out on an elite level of play that led them to their Stanley Cup title last season.

He's a big part of our team. Everyone has the responsibility to make their own decisions in life. I haven't lost any respect for him, said Tyler Seguin to CSNNE.com. I'll miss him. He's got my best wishes. Hopefully I'll be able to be out on the same ice with him again.

Two other Bruins players reached by CSNNE.com didnt feel strongly enough about Thomas leaving to comment, and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was supportive of his teammate attending to family matters.

If he feels like thats what he needs to do for his family then thats okay, I guess, said Seidenberg. Its tough to judge.

While it was news to every Bruins player reached on Sunday of Thomas sabbatical, it appears that many of the players had started preparing to move after dropping the seven-game series to the Washington Capitals. The Bruins goaltender appeared to be removing himself from the rest of his teammates with his comments, and spoke haltingly when asked if he still hoped to remain a member of the Bruins.

Those kinds of actions raised an eyebrow at the time, but were dismissed by some as strange locker room coincidences in the heat of playoff battle.

But now they make a lot more sense as a sneak preview of a hockey player that looks poised to walk away from his lifetime NHL employer.

Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

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Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

BRIGHTON, Mass – It took seven games into the regular season, but it looks like Paul Postma will be making his Bruins debut on Saturday night after signing on in Boston as a free agent last summer. The 28-year-old Postma is getting into the Bruins lineup after a couple of blocked shots knocked Adam McQuaid out of the Bruins lineup with a broken leg, but it’s a moment he’s been prepared for since the end of NHL training camp.

“Those things happen. I obviously wish him the best and we’re going to miss him a lot, but it’s up to the other guys to step up and I’m going to get a chance to play now. [I’m going to] make the most of it,” said Postma, who finished with a goal and 14 points along with a plus-3 rating in 64 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season in his eighth and final year with the organization that dated back to their days as the Atlanta Thrashers. “It was a long summer and I obviously play this game because I want to get into the lineup. I’m ready and excited, and I’m excited to just play my first game as a Boston Bruin.”

Postma has pretty good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, but he’s more of a puck-mover and offensive catalyst with a strong, accurate shot from the point than he would be considered a defensive stopper-type. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has to keep that in mind while building the defensemen pairs, and adjusting to also potentially being without fellow stay-at-home defenseman Kevan Miller on Saturday night as well.

The book on Postma, according to sources within the Winnipeg Jets organization, was that he could impress with the talent and skills within his game, but that he could never consistently put it together on a consistent basis. With injuries piling up for the Bruins, Postma will now get a new, fresh chance with the Bruins after serving as the seventh defenseman for the first few weeks of the season. 

“He’s working diligently to close a little quicker and understand what his assignment is. We’re more zone oriented in terms of layers [than Winnipeg] and we’re not going to chase people away from our net, so he’s had to get used to that,” said Postma, of his adjustment from the Jets system to the one that the Bruins play. “The puck-moving department will always be there. That’s one of his strengths and we’re going to expect that from him. He’s got a big shot, so he’ll definitely add some offensive blue line presence.”  

The nice part for Postma is that all of the talk and theory about how he’ll look in a Bruins uniform will be over at puck drop on Saturday night, and it will be about impressing a team full of new people where he’s looking for a permanent role.  

Morning Skate: Two sports writing legends talk Bruins

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Morning Skate: Two sports writing legends talk Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while shaking my head that’s going to be close to 80 degrees in late October today in New England. Summer clearly isn’t over around here.

*A couple of Boston sports writing legends shoot the breeze about the Bruins and hockey as Bob Ryan hosts FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Paul Dupont on his podcast.

*Auston Matthews is happy to share his stick-collecting stories as a hockey-loving kid growing up in Arizona that’s now living the dream.

*The Los Angeles Kings are off to the best start in franchise history, which really seems strange given the Cup-winning pedigree that this organization has built up over the last five-plus seasons.

*The NHL has admitted that they completely botched a coach’s challenge for offside that cost the Avalanche a very important goal. This is the Pandora’s Box that you open up once you start making replay a big part of the game.

*Kailer Yamamoto is making a late push to stick around with the Edmonton Oilers for the entire season rather than be returned to junior hockey. Again, it should be mentioned that Yamamoto was Edmonton’s first-round pick this summer while the Finnish defenseman that the Bruins tapped wasn’t even a training camp invite.

*Claude Lemieux enjoys his son’s NHL debut in Winnipeg long after the notorious forward wound up his own event-filled NHL career.

*For something completely different: I think we all enjoyed Patrick Beverley taking Lonzo Ball to school in his first NBA game this week.