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Bruins’ Thornton: I won’t retire ‘until they rip the skates off of me’

Aug 14, 2013, 10:32 PM EDT

shawnthorntongetty Getty Images

When Boston Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton‘s current contract expires next summer, he’ll be 37. Thornton told that he won’t be riding off into the sunset if he has it his way, though.

“I’m going to play until they rip the skates off of me, and tell me that I can’t anymore,” Thornton said on Monday. “I’m aware of how old I am, but I definitely don’t feel it. I’ve been fairly consistent over the last few years, I think. People probably have varying opinions about that, but I’ll continue to do everything I can do to show up in good shape.”

(Don’t feel bad if you picture someone trying to literally rip Thornton’s skates off. Bonus points if you imagine Thornton sticking his feet up in the air to aid the process, much like a small child would.)

While Thornton has bounced around the NHL, he’s only had one significant run of games that didn’t come in a Boston Bruins uniform (He played 48 games for Anaheim in 2006-07 before becoming a regular with the B’s in 2007-08).

For a player with limited skills like Thornton, approaching the 500 regular season games played mark is a nice accomplishment, but he’s clearly hungry for more.

  1. thailer35 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Rip the shakes off of him?

    • sabatimus - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      Maybe he likes gluing McDonald’s chocolate pseudo-desserts onto his jersey, I dunno.

  2. mp1131211 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Well that comment is going to work against you at the negotiating table! Doh!

  3. titansbro - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Shakes huh? In the headline no less. Lol.

  4. titansbro - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    His fighting skills are certainly not limited. And for an enforcer, he has decent offensive skills. Not to mention that he can really get the team going when he’s out there throwing his body around. See game 3 2011 SC Finals.

    • hockey412 - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      Would love to see people like Thornton eliminated from the game entirely. It’s in his own best interest to preserve what brain matter he has left and just quit sooner than later. He’s a goon, at best.

      • Moop - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

        I think he understand the risk of brain problems from continuing to play as a goon, or an enforcer. He’s not that limited though, he’s a great energy, checking, and defensive player that can score on occasion. In terms of strictly being good at hockey, forget about fighting, he’s better than a lot of “goons”.

      • jasol20 - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        That is just asinine beyond belief. Eliminating the John Scott’s of the NHL? Maybe I could see your argument, as I’ll somewhat grudgingly admit that the game has progressed past that style of “goon” as you call it. Shawn Thornton is not a goon – he’s got offensive skill, no gaping holes defensively, exhibits leadership, veteran presence and work ethic both on and off the ice. Hardly a “goon” by any stretch.

      • dropthepuckeh - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Thornton skates a regular shift on the 4th line and is on the ice frequently at the end of close games. To call him a goon is B.S. He does his job in a professional manner and fights by the code. He doesn’t take cheap shots on opposing skill players, he stops throwing punches if the other guy gets hurt or goes down, and doesn’t make excuses when he loses fights. He only had 8 fighting majors last year. His energy and character are a huge part of the Bruins team’s success over the past few years and to label him a goon is a uninformed naive comment.

      • hockey412 - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        He’s a goon. That’s my opinion of him. I really don’t understand how your point is supposed to change that. No-honor goon.

      • supercoop8 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        He has had one minor concussion. Its the guys that don’t usually fight that start throwing haymakers and leave themselves wide open for a knock out punch. Players that have developed dementia post career in boxing, hockey, and football have all received multiple blows to the head after suffering a serious TB thatI has not healed properly. Anyone that has suffered more than one TBI is a larger risk then a “goon,” that puts Crosby at a faster pace to apple sauce then Thornton.
        Bruins Pens series- Thornton 1 pt, Penguins 2 goals

      • gallyhatch - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        He’s no Matt Cooke, eh 412?

        1st time on the site in a while for me, glad to see you’re still consistently trolling the Bruins articles!

        Must be a boring summer down by the Allegheny.

      • hockey412 - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        he’s a goon. and you are ABSOLUTELY correct. He’s no Matt Cooke. eh.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Oh good, another troll on the board.

      • pepper2011 - Aug 15, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        It’s funny (and sad) to see people who claim to be hockey fans through garbage like 412 did out there. Honestly – if you knew the first thing about hockey you would call him a “goon, at best” are you kidding me? last time I checked he had his name on the cup more times than Sid and Geno do. No, I am not saying he is better than them. He is not. C’mon man have some respect for the game; that’s the thing about hockey fans – we are supposed to be smart and your giving pens fans an even worse reputation that they already have. Like the article said he is approaching 500 NHL games – pure goons in this day just don’t do that.

        Also- if he is actually a “goon, at best” explain these numbers:Here is your fourth line –

        J Vitale 2g 3a 5pts -7 (on that team!) Toi 9:31 17PIM
        T Glass 1g 1a 2pts -11(on that team!)Toi 10:04 62 PIM
        C Adams 3g 6a 9pts -1 Toi 11:10 28PIM
        T Kennedy 6g 5a 11 pts -6 (YIKES!) Toi 12:28 19PIM
        S Thornton 3g 4a 7pts +1 Toi 8:06 60PIM

        He was as good as Adams/kennedy (if not better) – none of these guys are PP specialists so really the most important thing for the fourth line guys is to give up less goals than they get. Thornton did this the fourth line on Pitt didn’t and couldn’t.

      • hockey412 - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        He’s a goon.

      • gallyhatch - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        Hey Pepper2011, great post, but we all know 412 doesn’t let the facts get in the way of his trolling, it defeats the purpose!

      • supercoop8 - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:29 PM


  5. budzo83 - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    I love Thorty, but wasn’t it only like eight months ago that he was making statements to the effect that if the lockout lasted all season that it would cost him his career? IMO, I think he will retire and the team will create some BS front office position for him like “President of Fan Relations” or something like that. Honestly, the Bruins would be stupid if they didn’t keep him around in some capacity; Bostonians love him and he’s a very active member of the community.

  6. nhstateline - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    He’s great with the fans and that’s why they like him so much. Truly seems like someone who gets that he’s lucky to be doing what he’s doing for a living. Easy to root for a guy like that. Plus, he’s not just an enforcer, he can actually play well enough to be a big piece on what’s called a fourth line. We all saw what happened to the Bruins when they didn’t have that line in the SCF.

  7. mustangmach - Aug 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Idiot ‘Dream Sequence’ by the author, in trying to visualize someone ripping off Thorton’s skates.

    Shawn would most likely skate over the dude’s face, instead of holding his legs up and aid the process.

  8. arbruins - Aug 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Thorty has heart and wants to play the game…as far as I’m concerned, he can skate for the Bs for as long as he wants to. Then he can work for the team in some other capacity.

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