By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — When Tim Thomas hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head on the ice in Vancouver in June of 2011, he was on top of the hockey world. Just a few years later, he was gone from that world completely.

It wasn’t until 2019 that Thomas revealed why he disappeared completely from the hockey scene, as he shared that he had suffered significant brain injuries which affected him greatly. His reentrance into the public eye has been a slow and steady one, but he’s now looking to take another step.

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Thomas is set to release a line of NFTs — non-fungible tokens — using the 10-year anniversary of that historic Stanley Cup championship as a springboard. And in speaking to The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro, Thomas is opening himself up to his hockey past.

“About 16 months ago, I came through the other side, so to speak,” Thomas told The Athletic. “As I continued to get better and better, I’m looking for things to be involved in that are interesting. I’m looking to reconnect with friends and acquaintances that I built over my life.”

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Bruins fans got to see this last year, when the 2011 team reunited virtually to watch Game 7 from the Stanley Cup Final, with Thomas on the call. Prior to that, he dropped a ceremonial puck before a Bruins-Capitals game in D.C. in December of 2019, after he was selected for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Thomas told The Athletic that he’s not quite ready to tell his entire story, as he’s still trying to piece it all together himself. But for now, he’s recently connected with Tuukka Rask and also texted Milan Lucic to congratulate the former Bruins winger for reaching 1,000 NHL games played.

“As I’m making more contact with ex-teammates, I feel like I’m slowly stepping back into that world, so to speak,” Thomas told The Athletic. “When you are in the space I was in, I devalued everything I ever accomplished and devalued everything that hockey allowed me to be a part of. “When you’re in a place where I was, where you are just struggling to be able to think anything, then you know … let’s just say my view swung too far to the negative. … And now I’m taking this first small step into the public. It’s part of that reconnect that I needed.”

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He added: “[Avoiding hockey is] starting to change. I can let hockey be part of my life again.”

CBSBoston.com Staff