Bruins starting goaltender sustained a concussion this past Saturday in a game against the New York Rangers. While there is no further word on his injury, and with the Bruins off on a bye week and All Star Break, there probably won’t be much information about him this week. I do have some information on another former Bruins goaltender, Tim Thomas.
Post Bruins, Tim Thomas has been a bit of a mystery. First, there was the refusal to report to the Bruins for the 2012-13 season after he announced that he would sit out the season, after which he never reported to the Islanders after his contract was traded there. Thomas signed with the Florida Panthers and was traded to the Dallas Stars within that final season in the NHL. And then he disappeared.
In a video from 2017, Tim Thomas does a confessional for a physical therapy group out of Colorado Springs. In it he discusses his numerous brain injuries that he obtained from professional hockey and his hopes that this new therapy he’s trying will help him feel better.
The therapeutic approach is Gyrostim and it seems to mimic some of the exercises chronic sufferers of vertigo by using a machine to rapidly rotate the person to stimulate and reset the vestibular system in the inner ear. The problem with this is that it’s also being marketed as a target therapy for concussions (without study) and other developmental issues, and it could very well be junk science.
I had no idea that Thomas had a history of concussions and in fact it’s too narrow a view to just think of major concussive episodes as opposed to micro-burst versions of collisions as being the culprit. All sorts of smaller impacts are likely to cause these significant injuries when they are sustained multiple times daily. Perhaps the real reason he sat out that season was because he wanted to be away from those impacts, to allow himself a chance to be normal and heal.
I hope it works for him because nobody should have to continually feel the effects of concussions after their playing days are over.