Despite his being 14 years younger, Vancouver Canucks' goalie Cory Schneider, for some, may be the more mature when it comes to the issue of attending team events. He was asked to weigh in on Tim Thomas' snub of the White House and sounded well, mature.
“Every person is entitled to their rights, that’s the point of the constitution,” Schneider told the Vancouver Sun on Jan. 23. “You can have free speech, free religion, politics and all that stuff. So it’s absolutely Tim’s right.
"His beliefs are his own and that’s fine. It’s just that the timing is a little odd. If your entire team is going, it’s about the team, to kind of put your own agenda aside and maybe just show up in support."
Cory Schneider: heir apparent to Thomas?
The 25-year-old Schneider is, like the 37-year-old Thomas, an American and is from Boston. He is set to be the heir apparent to Thomas as the NHL's best U.S. born goalie - though Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres is still in the mix - and the two played opposite one another in the Stanley Cup final when Canuck starter Roberto Luongo faltered.
There is controversy in the wake of Thomas' Monday snub of U.S. President Barack Obama and the traditional White House gathering. In Boston columnists, and fans, have criticized Thomas for insisting on bringing his politics into the mix for an event that was all about team. There are also some who've praised him.
Bruins at White House: team event
It is not likely that the Bruins brass appreciates their star goalie's decision but GM Peter Chiarelli did not suspend him for missing a team event, as he could have done. It is likely that the faster the whole thing blows over, the happier Chiarelli will be. Meanwhile, Schneider feels the Thomas affair has been overblown but also feels the Boston goalie failed to grasp what Monday's visit was all about.
“Obviously (Thomas) believes strongly in his political views. But, as an American...we all have a little bit of respect for the position of the president. Whether you like the guy or not, he’s the president of the United States," Schneider told the Sun. "Tim has made a great living and a great career in the United States and I’m sure he’s benefited from tax-paying dollars, and every other right that as an American citizen we all enjoy. It’s a little bit of a slight to sort of forget all that.”
Whether the relative youngster does sound the more mature of the two goalies is something fans will make up their own minds about. But as reporters flock around Boston Bruin players to get quotes on the entire affair, those players may be wishing Thomas had an attitude more in line with Cory Schneider's.