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Wednesday, 08.24.2011 / 3:04 PM ET
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The guy hasn't changed
08.24.2011 / 3:04 PM ET

DAVISON, Mich. -- Tim Thomas is exactly the same guy as his high school coach Tom Barrow remembers him to be 19 years ago.

"He always had the talent and know-how, but what he needed was the patience," Barrow said from the football field at Davison High School, where Thomas was honored today. "I like to think I helped him with that, but he was always this kind of goaltender."

Barrow doesn't stay in touch with Thomas for very long as he retired as soon as Thomas graduated Davison in 1992. However, he has followed Thomas' entire career, the highs and lows, and said he cried with pride when the Bruins won the Cup.

"You think I cried," he quipped. "You bet I did. This guy makes me cry, that's all there is to it. To think I had an influence on!"

Barrow wasn't alone in his influence on Thomas.

Al Sumner was the senior goalie at Davison when Thomas transferred in as a sophomore. Sumner said the competition between him and Thomas wasn't always friendly as they pushed each other and tried to convince Barrow to they were worth the ice time.

"To say the two of us were best of friends when we were competing would be untrue," said Sumner, who still lives in Davison and owns a landscaping business. "You never wanted to see one do bad but we both wanted to play.

"The thing I can say to this day is that you watch him play now, the announcers key on how aggressive he is and how he stands up for himseld, how he doesn't need anyone else to cover his back -- when we were playing that's how he played. He was young and raw, but by the time he got out of here he refined it and learned how to use it to his advantage."

-- Dan Rosen

'We're very fortunate'
08.24.2011 / 12:54 PM ET

DAVISON, Mich. -- As you drive into the back parking lot at Davison High School, there is a sign honoring Ken Morrow for winning the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics and for being a Cup champion.

Davison will soon be hanging a similar sign honoring its other hockey hero, Tim Thomas.

"Oh, we've got one and we are giving him one," Davison Community Schools Superintendent Eric Lieske told

Lieske and his staff along with Matt and Tammy Thomas organized the public event at Cardinal Stadium to honor Thomas today. We are heading out there shortly.

Lieske said the town and its surrounding municipalities are thrilled Thomas chose to bring it home.

"It makes a statement that he cares about his hometown roots," said Lieske, who graduated from Davison High School in 1989, three years before Thomas turned the tassel on his graduation cap. "As an educator, that's how we want all of our students this school district. It's just a great story."

Several members of the current high school hockey team will be taking part in the program at the football stadium.

"They're fired up," Lieske said. "We had four of them here at 5 a.m. to do an interview with a local TV station."

Thomas is just finishing lunch and is going to make his way to the public event shortly. Traffic is building up around the school and Davison area.

-- Dan Rosen




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