Tim Thomas
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Tim Thomas Ends Seven-Year Hiatus

Tim Thomas spoke with Sean Shapiro of The Athletic on the 15th of April, which was Thomas’s 47th birthday. During that conversation, Thomas revealed that he was launching his very first non-fungible token (NFT). The former Stanley Cup-winning goalie also explained why he literally cut all ties to hockey from his life back in 2014. As it turns out, this was no accident. Tim Thomas did everything in his power to avoid anything that had to do with the sport, including the purging of his awards made from hockey…in his own house.

It was revealed in 2019 that Thomas struggled with suicidal thoughts and severe brain damage due to the nature of hockey, during which time he also admitted that there were times he straight-up hated hockey. Thomas was inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame that same year and made his first appearance in a rink since his last game with the Dallas Stars. Thomas did not speak with many people that night with the exception of a couple of his former teammates from Boston. That was a huge step for him and yet he still wasn’t ready to be thrust back into the world of hockey…until now.

“About 16 months ago, I came through the other side, so to speak,” Thomas said, “As I continued to get better and better, I’m looking for things to be involved in that are interesting. I’m looking to reconnect with friends and acquaintances that I built over my life.”

Thomas is going to be making his first major public appearance since 2019 next week when a series of NFT’s (collection of digital memorabilia) will be released to commemorate the Bruins’ 10-year anniversary of the unlikely Stanley Cup win. Next week will be one of many baby steps that Thomas is still making towards recovery.

“It’s a process,” Thomas said. “It takes a while to put the story together for yourself when you essentially can’t think and then start to rebuild the ability to think, then you’ve got a lot of thinking to do to put together all the pieces.”

What’s next for Tim Thomas?

Thomas’s only contact with the outside world during his hiatus was with his close friend, Mike Valley. They would always text and talk, but they never spoke a word about hockey. Valley and Thomas then started conversations about cryptocurrency, which ultimately led to the idea of NFT’s, or crypto-collectibles, which have gained popularity in 2021. NFT’s are more popular with the NBA market, but NHL players like Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk have started selling their own digital collectibles, which has garnered more interest in the hockey world.

Valley helped Thomas realize the potential of NFT’s by convincing him that the 10-year anniversary of the Bruins Stanley Cup had NFT potential on the market. From there, Thomas and Valley collaborated with an artist in the NFT business, Blake Jamieson, who also specializes in athlete portraits. Thomas’s NFT line will be going up for auction next week, and he will be donating some of the proceeds to causes that focus on helping people with traumatic brain injuries. In time, Tim Thomas will be back. For good.

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