BOSTON (CBS) — On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings will visit President Barack Obama for the annual tradition of the Stanley Cup-winning team visiting the White House.
It’s a trip that is expected to be much less controversial than the Bruins’ visit last January, when goaltender and Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas refused to attend the trip with the Bruins. Thomas then followed up his no-show with a Facebook post about his political beliefs, saying the federal government “has grown out of control.” The decision and explanation sparked a controversy that never really went away for the rest of the season, after which Thomas left the team for personal reasons.
This year, all of the Kings are expected to attend, but that doesn’t mean forward Dustin Penner couldn’t crack a joke prior to making the visit.
“After careful consideration,” Penner tweeted, “I’ve decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I’m not an idiot!Free trip? I’m in!”
Interestingly enough, Thomas was a topic of conversation the night before at Bruins coach Claude Julien’s postgame press conference. Or at least, he sort of was a topic, as Julien opted to not reference Thomas by name.
“I don’t know,” Julien said when asked how Tuukka Rask responded to criticism last week. “I think it’s one of those things that everybody reads it whichever way they can. And you know that from the goaltender last year.”
It seems as though no matter how much Tim Thomas wants to disappear, he never really goes away.