BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins will face off against Tim Thomas for the first time since his exit from Boston when they take on the Panthers in Florida Thursday night.
Bruins’ president Cam Neely joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz for his weekly call on Thursday, and said the B’s have moved on from the whole Tim Thomas saga, and Thursday night is just another game.
“At some point it’s just another player,” said Neely. “It’s always difficult when you’re a player and you play against your former team and teammates, but once the puck drops and you’re in the heat of the game you look at it as just another player.”
Thomas was the king of Boston after he stood on his head during the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, leading the Bruins to their first championship in 39 years. But things took a turn the following season when Thomas sat out a trip to the White House for political reasons, and then opted to sit out the final year of his contract with the B’s last year.
“Everybody has moved on,” Neely said of the way things ended between the Bruins and Thomas. “Everything I’ve read from Tim he’s moved on, and we’ve certainly moved on.”
How bad were things with Thomas at the end? Neely said it wasn’t that bad.
“Tim didn’t change all that much. Over the course of the time he was here in Boston his personality stayed the same,” said Neely. “He’s a competitor, he battles, and we have to give him credit for that.”
Neely said he thinks Thomas could have been mentally burned out in 2012 following the long Cup run and a short off-season, and it may have affected his play. But you would have to ask the player to get a definite answer.
Neely also touched on Boston’s recent scoring trouble, and his take on the struggles of forward Brad Marchand: