June 03, 2012
Tim Thomas: HHOF Worthy?
It is official. At the age of 38 Tim Thomas has taken a sabbatical from hockey.
Here is what Thomas posted on his Facebook page:
From the earliest age I can remember, I've wanted to be a hockey player. I've been blessed in my life to not only be able to live that dream, but to achieve more than I ever thought possible.
The singleminded focus that is necessary to accomplish a dream of this magnitude entails (by necessity) sacrifice in other areas and relationships in life.
At the age of 38, I believe it is time to put my time and energies into those areas and relationships that I have neglected. That is why at this time I feel the most important thing I can do in my life is to reconnect with the three F's.
Friends, Family, and Faith.
This is what I plan on doing over the course of the next year.
Thomas was one of the most respected goalies ever, overcoming long odds to make the NHL late in his career and still reach great height. The highest of all, of course, was winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. He should be admired for having the courage to stand up for his convictions, though he is not getting it. He is seen as rocking the boat at his teammates and his organization's expense, leaving them to deal with the fallout while he hides behind Facebook.
I am not going to get into all of that. What I want to know is this: Is Tim Thomas a Hockey Hall of Famer? Yes, keep in mind he has not officially retired yet. But he has one Stanley Cup, one Conn Smythe trophy as playoffs MVP, two Vezina trophies as best goalie in the NHL and a 196-121-45 record all after finally reaching the NHL at the age of 31.
Is that enough to get him in? Is 2 or 3 or at the most 4 great NHL seasons enough to claim a Hall of Fame career? I say no.
Unlike with forwards, the Hockey Hall of Fame has set the bar quite high for goaltenders. Tom Barrasso had a far better career than Tim Thomas, and he even won two Stanley Cups. Mike Vernon, too. Yet neither of them are in the Hockey Hall of Famer after several years of eligibility.
Somehow I suspect Tim Thomas' final hockey chapter has not yet been written and that might effect his Hall of Fame status. But at this stage I would have to say sorry, but no. Tim Thomas should not be a Hockey Hall of Famer. His window of excellence was just too short.
Let's hear your take: Is Tim Thomas a Hall of Fame goaltender?