Tim “The Tank” Thomas….NHL Goalie, Vezina Winner, Potential Olympian and Lunatic

JekyllHyde1931 - Thomas

There is an old saying, “If your goalie ain’t weird, he ain’t good”. I was reminded of how much this saying applies to Tim Thomas after reading some of his quotes from the Team USA Olympic orientation camp:

Thomas knows the many travails he went through to make it to the top of the NHL. Now with a chance to fulfill an Olympic dream that he began to shape as a Michigan high schooler, he spent some time the other day recalling how he was passed over years ago when it came time for Team USA to gather up its best and brightest for the World Junior Championships.

A graduating high school senior in the summer of ’93, the 18-year-old Thomas attended the US Olympic Sports Festival in San Antonio, still uncertain where he would go to college and excited at the chance of possibly being showcased in the World Juniors.

“There were eight goalies there, and my team won the gold medal,’’ said Thomas. “Me and the other goalie split all the games. And in four half-games, I let in one goal, total. And then, uh, I ended up not making the team, to make a long story short . . . and I broke every stick in the back of the room.’

KPD-Boston Globe

As much as Tim Thomas is a stand up and humble guy, when he puts that equipment on he turns into a lunatic. And I love it. Here are a few examples just to prove the point:

Exhibit A. How about every time there is a game winning goal against him? He skates as fast as possible to the locker room where they have 75 sticks back there waiting for him to pulverize. Here he is trying to sprint off after Koivu scores on him in a shootout:

Exhibit B. Remember when Avery hit Thomas in the head after the whistle? Avery was lucky that he didn’t get tomahawked but Fredrik Sjostrom wasn’t as lucky and got fed a blocker at center ice of The Garden.

Exhibit C. When Tim was at UVM he let in a goal during practice and instead of doing the ‘normal’ goalie thing by breaking his stick over the net, he decides to launch the puck at the scoreboard at Gutterson Fieldhouse:

University of Vermont coaches still talk about the Roy Hobbs-style swing that the former Catamounts netminder took at a puck in a fit of pique after surrendering a goal in practice. He didn’t snap the extra-wide goalie stick with the force of his blow, or hit an unsuspecting coach with the errant puck after taking the mighty swipe. Nope.

Instead the young goalie — capable of explosive tantrums that bordered on epic — took a hack at a puck that had the audacity to slide through his pads, lifting the biscuit straight into the the scoreboard at the Gutterson Fieldhouse. Light bulbs blew apart and sparks flew everywhere as both the hockey version of “The Natural” and the damaged scoreboard raged.

From Joe Haggardy at WEEI

Exhibit D.  Lastly, how about when Thomas pulls a Deon Sanders and switches from defense to offense on Jason Blake:


Exhibit E. I forgot this one….This is one of my all time favorites. Thomas drops Andrei Kostitsyn after hitting Ward from behind:

There you go. That is why Tim is currently the No. 1 Goalie in the NHL and just signed a 4-year $20 million contract. Not bad for a head case from Davison, Michigan.

Tim Thomas w/ Vezina

Tim Thomas w/ Vezina

1 Response to “Tim “The Tank” Thomas….NHL Goalie, Vezina Winner, Potential Olympian and Lunatic”

  1. 1 ChickenParm
    August 19, 2009 at 10:57 PM

    should have seen him play with his old ccm bucket and jofa cage at the gut. kid was a horse.

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