WASHINGTON — Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas says he didn't attend the White House ceremony with President Barack Obama honoring the team for its 2011 Stanley Cup Championship because he believes the federal government "has grown out of control" and threatens rights and liberties.

Thomas said in a statement on his Facebook page Monday night he was exercising his rights as a citizen, and it wasn't "about politics or party." He said both parties are responsible "for the situation we are in as a country."

The veteran goaltender helped lead the Bruins to their sixth Stanley Cup and was MVP of last year's playoffs. He was among the players Obama singled out for praise during the ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

Thomas is a Michigan native who played at the University of Vermont.