At least one Canucks player had to weigh in on Tim Thomas, right?
It happens to be Cory Schneider, the Boston College grad and Marblehead native who earned the right to play in front of his hometown fans earlier this month when Vancouver visited the Garden. Schneider's message to Thomas: "Suck it up."
"I'm not that religious but if I had the chance to meet the Pope, it'd be pretty cool," Schneider told The Province. "I don't believe in everything the Catholic church does, but I'd still show up to the Vatican and say Hi to the Pope.
"I have no problem with his personal beliefs, but (Thomas) can suck it up for an hour, say Hi and be with the team, and avoid all of this.
"Respect the (Presidency). He plays for Team USA and he has no problem making millions of dollars in the USA but he can?t go say Hi to the President.
"You get a lot of benefits living in the US and he should have little bit of respect for that.
"It's just the timing. It's poor timing. It's about putting your own agenda aside to do something with the team whether you like the guy or not."
Look, I'm going to agree...with....(gnashing teeth)...a...Canuck....on this. You may not agree with his decision, but he had every God-given right to skip the trip to the White House. But where we have to draw the line is with how he's making his organization look in all this. Thomas's mission was successful. Everybody is talking about his reasons for skipping out. It's generated incredible buzz, and a sometimes hateful political debate (what else is new?), but he got his message out.
But the Bruins have been put in an unfair situation with Thomas's Constitutional rights hanging over their heads. Whether or not it's a distraction remains to be seen, but any employer shouldn't have to be unfairly seen in a different agenda than anything it has failed to preach. And when a team source tells the Globe's Fluto Shinzawa, "[Expletive] selfish [expletive]," when asked about Thomas, that's not what you're looking for from a team unity standpoint.
Shinzawa also suggests maybe the Bruins could shop Thomas in the offseason. Then again, the NHL trading deadline is Feb. 27. If this continues to be a talking point by then, would they? Should they?
I hate asking those questions. I'm sure, if they have to, the Bruins will too.