Tim Thomas, goalie for the Boston Bruins, declined the invitation to attend President Barack Obama's salute to the NHL team for their 2011 Stanley Cup championship on Monday.
Last June, The Bruins won their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years after a seven-game final series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Thomas, a known conservative, cited frustration with politics today as his reason for not attending the White House celebration.
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People," Thomas, last year's playoff MVP, said in a statement. "This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government."
Thomas, a native of Flint, Mich., was the only Boston player not in attendance, Fox Sports reported.
"Because I believe this, today (Monday) I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL," Thomas, one of the only two American players on the Bruins' Stanley Cup team last season, added in his statement.
Obama still made a gracious mention of Thomas' accomplishments in last year's final in his speech, not commenting on his absence.
"This Stanley Cup was won by defense as much as by offense," Obama said. "Tim Thomas posted two shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals and set an all-time record for saves in the postseason and he also earned the honor of being only the second American ever to be recognized as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP."
Peter Chiarelli, Bruins general manager, said Thomas' opinions did not reflect on those of the team.
"I can require someone to attend a team event. If they don't, I can suspend him," Chiarelli told the Boston Globe. "I'm not suspending Tim. Whatever his position is, it isn't reflective of the Boston Bruins nor my own. But I'm not suspending him."
''We are disappointed that Thomas chose not to join us,'' Cam Neely, Bruins president, told Fox Sports.