Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is standing behind goaltender Tim Thomas, who has drawn criticism for skipping a White House ceremony honoring the Stanley Cup champs last week.
"Tim is a great hockey player," Jacobs told reporters in Ottawa for NHL All-Star festivities. "He's done his job very well for us, and I'm totally behind him. I don't necessarily agree with his political views, but that's not what he does for me. And I've got to say this: While I don't agree with it, I certainly feel he has the right to express himself as every American does, and he does a good job."
Asked if he thought Thomas' snub took away from the team's moment last Monday, Jacobs said, "Oh no. You guys say some things to me that I don't like, but I definitely believe you have the right to say it. And I'd fight for that and I fight for his right to do and to express what he wants. [The issue] is all over with, unless you guys want to make more out of it."
Thomas, who said in a statement that he did not attend the event in part because the federal government is "out of control," has been publicly criticized by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and senator Scott Brown, among others.
"[The controversy] is all media-driven and it has been from the start. Everything that I said and did was as an individual. It was not as a representative of the Boston Bruins," Thomas said Friday. "All it has to do is with me. But it's separate from hockey. That's my personal life and those are my personal views. Those are my personal beliefs. It has nothing to do with hockey. It has nothing to do with this All-Star Game. It has nothing to do with the Boston Bruins."