Thomas’ place in Boston sports history is unassailable: he won the Conn Smythe Trophy and was virtually unbeatable during the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup title run. His bright red full-boxed beard made him a dead ringer for Yukon Cornelius.
Not only did he refuse to pump Roberto Luongo’s tires, he also refused to join his teammates when they visited the White House in early 2012 after going public with his political views. That decision alienated him from a portion of the Bruins’ fanbase and virtually the entire Boston sports media community.
He also found thousands of supporters on his Facebook page and elsewhere. Thomas took a “leave of absence” from the Bruins in 2012, went into exile in Colorado and was finally traded to the Islanders.