Retired goalie Tim Thomas details brain damage from hockey

Bruins

FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2012, file photo, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is shown before an NHL hockey game agains the Pittsburgh Penguins in Boston. Tim Thomas broke a years-long public silence Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, after being named as part of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2019. The mercurial retired NHL goaltender who led the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 2011 and made headlines for refusing to visit then-President Barack Obama at the White House has avoided the spotlight since walking away from hockey in 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas said Thursday that his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe that he couldn’t make basic decisions and his brain wasn’t functioning well enough to even watch hockey.

In his first public appearance since walking away from the game, Thomas said a scan taken after he retired showed that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was getting less than 50%. The 45-year-old said it took significant time and help to even be able to communicate with former teammates and others.

He’s still not close to normal.

“I wake up every day and basically I have to reorder everything in my mind for the first couple hours of the day and then make a list and try to make some choices to get some stuff done,” Thomas said before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Thomas won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins and was named playoff MVP. He played parts of 10 NHL seasons before retiring in 2014 but said his experiences made him question if it was all worth it.

“It taught me a value for life and a value for my brain that I’ve never had before,” Thomas said. “And I have appreciation for everything that I never had before. I don’t regret anything.”

Long considered reclusive, Thomas said he lived in the woods for a couple of years because he couldn’t handle human interaction. He got a chance to talk to some old teammates at a game Wednesday nights between the Bruins and Washington Capitals.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download Mobile Apps from WPRI 12
DOWNLOAD APPS NOW: Apple App Store | Google Play Store
PINPOINT WEATHER // Quick Links:
doleslogo

Veteran sports anchor Jack Doles hosts our weekly digital show Big Game Bound Thursdays at 1 p.m. ET. Each week, we spotlight the biggest storylines and games across the NFL utilizing our embedded reporters covering teams across the country. As always, we're keeping an eye on who might be headed to the Big Game in Miami!


Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Don't Miss

Live Cams on WPRI.com