Former Boston Bruins goaltender and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Tim Thomas finally is opening up about his struggles following his retirement in 2014.
While not many have seen or heard from Thomas in years, there's a good reason for it. The 2011 Stanley Cup Champion gave a heartbreaking testimony Thursday regarding his difficult battle with hockey-related brain trauma.
"I couldn't communicate with anybody for a few years," Thomas said, according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan. "I didn't call my dad. I didn't talk to anybody. There was a time period, yeah, where I hated the game, so to speak. I didn't sit there and [say] I hate it. My rebound effect was like, this wasn't worth it.
"I couldn't follow the game anymore," Thomas added. "My brain wasn't functioning well enough to be able to keep up with the game, so I sat out in the woods for a few years. I didn't watch much hockey. There's not much TV out there."
Many athletes, like Thomas, who have endured an extensive amount of head trauma over the years find it difficult not to hate the sport they once loved. An emotional Thomas continued to say he reached his breaking point, and it was hard to claw himself out of the depths of despair.
"I didn't want to talk about this. I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to tell the world this stuff. Not till I felt ready, and I didn't feel ready yet. But here I am."
Thomas added he had a brain scan done which showed two-thirds of his brain getting less than five percent blood flow, according to the Associated Press' Steve Whyno.
While discussing his difficulties, he also took the time to say how happy he was to see some of his old teammates from the 2011 championship team.
Take a look:
📹 Tim Thomas on heading into the US Hockey Hall of Fame tonight and on seeing his old #NHLBruins teammates last night: "I just didn't know how much it would make me feel good to be around those guys again" #WBZ pic.twitter.com/eXjpaIA8UM— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) December 12, 2019
Hopefully this is just the beginning of Thomas discussing the pain he suffered over the years. The 45-year-old not only could bring plenty of attention to the importance of putting your health first, but be an advocate and mentor for hockey players who have gone through similar situations.
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