BOSTON (CBS) – Bruins goalie Tim Thomas declined to attend the team’s Stanley Cup celebration with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday.

Thomas, who is known to support the Tea Party, told Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli months ago that he would not attend the event due to his political differences from the Obama administration.

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“Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs and he chose not to join us,” said Cam Neely.

Thomas released a statement on his Facebook page about his decision:

“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.

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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. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”

Thomas, one of just two Americans on the Bruins team that won it all (along with defenseman Steven Kampfer), won the Conn Smythe and Vezina trophies to help the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since 1972 last June.

Bruins President Cam Neely released the following statement:

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“As an organization we were honored by President Obama’s invitation to the White House. It was a great day and a perfect way to cap our team’s achievement from last season. It was a day that none of us will soon forget. We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us, and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization. This will be the last public comment from the Bruins organization on this subject.”