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Thomas Named to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

2011 Stanley Cup champion will be officially enshrined later this year

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

BOSTON - Former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has been named to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, USA Hockey announced on Wednesday. The new five-member class, which also includes former Bruins forward Brian Gionta, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, hockey icon Neal Henderson, and Team USA Olympian Krissy Wendell, will be officially inducted during a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Dec. 12.

"I'm very honored to be receiving this recognition," Thomas said during a conference call following the announcement. "I'd like to thank USA Hockey for experiences that have led to a storybook life…my whole life's been rewarding. My time with the Boston Bruins was rewarding. My time with USA Hockey was very rewarding."

Thomas, who played eight seasons in Boston from 2002-12, holds a special place in Bruins lore for his legendary performance during the team's Stanley Cup run in 2011. For his efforts while lifting Boston to its first Cup in 39 years, the netminder was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP.

The Michigan native posted a .940 save percentage, 1.98 goals against average, and four shutouts in 25 games during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It was amazing," Thomas said of the Bruins' Cup run in 2011. "Anyone who could semi put themselves in my shoes for just a minute with that season, it was amazing for me, it was amazing for my teammates, it was amazing for the city. It was an amazing year.

"I think it's similar for every team that wins a championship whatever city they're in. But my experiences in Boston, the energy of the two million people at the parade after we won, it was pretty wild."

After a career that spanned stints in Finland, Sweden, and Providence, the University of Vermont product finally made it to the NHL full-time in 2005-06, before becoming Boston's No. 1 goalie the following season. Thomas went on to play in four NHL All-Star Games (2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012) and was twice named a First-Team NHL All-Star (2009 and 2011).

He also won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender in both 2009 and 2011 and represented the United States during international play on eight different occasions, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Thomas is the Bruins all-time leader in save percentage (.921), while ranking fourth in shutouts (31), fifth in wins (196) and goals against average (2.48), and sixth in games played (378).

"It all stands out if you take the time to process it, which I've been doing over the last few years," said Thomas, 45, who retired following 2013-14 season. "From the time I spent in Finland and winning a championship and being part of what that feeling feels like and going to my first world championships in Sweden…Providence was a great experience when I lived down there…you think of all the people and that you wouldn't have been able to do it without. My whole career, my whole life in hockey, stands out."

Gionta finished his 16-year NHL career in Boston, playing 20 games for the Black & Gold at the end of the 2017-18 season. The New York native notched two goals and five for Boston, before suiting up for one postseason contest.

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