BURLINGTON– Thousands of fans lined the downtown streets of Burlington for a parade on Saturday that celebrated former UVM star and current Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas' Championship season. The event featured Thomas and members of his family, the Stanley Cup, as well as players from the UVM hockey team.
Thomas was able to get a second day with the Cup after his first day was spent in Michigan in his home town, and took the opportunity to show his appreciation for his fans in the Green Mountain State.
On how he was able to secure a second day with trophy Thomas got a chuckle out the press saying, "It's one of those benefits that comes with being really old. Every year it actually works out about four or five guys on the team, the veteran players usually, get a second day if they ask for it, and I did and I got it so hear we are."
After the parade Thomas and his hardware (the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies also made the journey to Catamount Country) were whisked away to the Dudley Davis Center where Tim received the University's Alumni Achievement Award.
The award, given out since 1985, recognizes outstanding achievement at the local, state, and/or national level.
Thomas, who along with winning the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophies, also picked up the Vezina trophy, which is given annually to the top goaltender during the NHL's regular season.
By winning all three awards, Thomas becomes just the second goaltender in NHL history to win all three in the same season, Bernie Parent being the first to do so in 1975 with Philadelphia Flyers.
After the ceremony, Thomas sat down with members of the media for half an hour, and discussed a variety of topics, ranging from hockey to the devastation from Hurricane Irene in the lower part of the Vermont, an area the Bruins visited before the start of the 2010-2011 season.
He also imparted the lessons he learned at UVM and how they have stuck with him throughout the years.
"I think I always had a pretty good work ethic, I know when I was here playing at the University of Vermont, actually it's kind of funny, I heard from other players or someone that (former assistant coach) Roger Grillo wasn't happy with my work ethic, so actually I increased my work ethic even more, just to prove him wrong, but that helped me get where I am at because it taught me the value of hard work and competing. "
While it ended up being a great lesson for Thomas, it turns out the coach had never said that, and in fact was impressed with Thomas' work ethic.
Either way it served as strong motivation, and Thomas would need some as it took nearly a decade after graduating for Thomas to earn a starting job in the NHL.
As we get closer to the start of the NHL preseason, Thomas, and the rest of the Bruins, are back at work, preparing themselves for the long journey that is the road to repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.