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Tim Thomas speaks: ‘I needed a break’

09.17.13 at 4:14 pm ET

Speaking to the media for the first time since deciding to take last season off, former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who is currently on a professional tryout with the Panthers, said he simply “needed a break” last season and that not playing was the “right decision” for both him and his family.

Thomas, now 39, still had one year and $3 million in salary left on his contract last season, but he elected to sit out and was traded to the Islanders mid-season. He did not play for the Islanders, who had only traded for him so they could use his $5 million cap hit to get above the salary floor.

“I got tired and I needed a break,” Thomas said Tuesday of his decision. “Now I’€™m energized and I’€™m looking forward to it. I feel great.’€

Regarding his decision to not play his final season in Boston, Thomas expressed no negative feelings. He also added that he was “so proud” of his former teammates during their run to the Stanley Cup finals in June, and that watching them inspired him to return to the NHL.

“My time in Boston was great,” he said. “I was very fortunate to have the type of personal and team success there, great teammates.”

As for his decision to not attend the White House in 2012 to meet the President the year after he led the B’s to a Stanley Cup victory, Thomas did not elaborate on what he said at the time, which was that political differences led to him skipping the trip in controversial fashion.

“I didn’€™t want to lie and say I was sick,” Thomas said. “I thought I gave, from my viewpoint, a very honest assessment of the situation.”

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