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B’s won’t re-sign Thornton, who will ‘be missed’

Jun 16, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT

As expected, the Boston Bruins will not be re-signing popular veteran forward Shawn Thornton.

Here’s B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli with the explanation:

According to Chiarelli, he told Thornton, who signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2007, that “he was one of the most significant acquisitions” the Bruins made, for both the role the bruising winger played and “the person that he is.”

But Thornton is 36 now, and the Bruins would like to get a bit younger and faster up front.

“He’ll be missed,” said Chiarelli. “It was a bit of a sad day.”

  1. theskinsman - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Father time waits for no one. Thanks for the effort,Thornton. And I couldn’t care less that he was a tad excitable.

  2. Moop - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Thornton brought more to the Bruins than can be seen from the outside; his overall work ethic and grit is something that earned him the respect of his teammates and fans in Boston. Admittedly, I’m not too bent up that he’s leaving; I’d love to see a younger player (anyone but Jordan Caron) get a chance on the fourth line. Meanwhile, Thornton will be a nice pick up for a team with young players looking for some leadership.

  3. lowenni - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Aside from the Brooks Orpik incident, I’ve always liked Shawn Thornton (and I hate the Bruins). He knows his role and generally has played that role with respect for the game and dignity. He is older now and time has taken its toll but I think he can get another year or two of hockey in, although he may be scratched here and there. Too bad, I know he was very well liked in Boston and he loved it there.

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      I think most Thornton fans would agree with your statement.

      • rrsm53 - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        I do, but i dislike he can’t retire in Boston as a Bruin. He could still play another year here as long as it was explained to him what his role would be i might accept it from the Bruins. I think it will be tough with another team a limited role but then again what do i know.

        The Bruins will have to replace his toughness not really with another fighter but someone who wont back down. They better not bring up that tool Robbins from Providence either.

  4. spitfisher - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Good luck #22, thanks for your service on and especially off the ice. You knew this day was coming so it can’t come as a surprise. You were a good soldier and from what I read and understood a motivator in the locker room. Those that will chime in stating you were a good, excuse them for they did not see you play day in and day out, include one of the best looking goals scored all last year. Good luck with your two cup rings.

  5. dboldave - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I’ll always be a fan of #22 and I hate to see him go but it’s time. I honestly don’t feel the Bruins need an enforcer but his leadership is something that will not easy to replace.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Yeah, the Bruins as a whole tend to step up when needed. It’s not a team that needs extra sandpaper.

  6. cjnbsc - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Had a friend who played high level hockey and who is a bruins fan that Thornton was done in Boston as soon as he sprayed Subban. He said “those type guys” are always in a very precarious position on the team, and the min you step over the line and hurt the team you are done. Said while it might not seem like a big deal just spraying water, something like that, at that level, can really be a focal point for a team. Not sure how much motivation it was, but things did change after that.

    • nunan - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      I say that played no part in this, at all. You don’t make a decision to let a player walk after 7 years of significant and meaningful service because he sprayed someone with water, which happens semi-regularly in hockey. The media likes to make it out to be some huge detriment to ‘the integrity of the game’ but in reality, in his situation, I guarantee it meant close to nothing. People on the inside don’t care. If it were Avery or Cooke, players who regularly walk the line and bring negative attention to the team, than ya. Not for Thornton though. I think PC’s interview shows how they really feel about him. That said, the 4th line is going to have a new dynamic next year and, skill-wise, they will be better. They have some options to really improve that line. I’m for moving Kelly down to Thornton’s spot. Paille and Kelly, and presumably Campbell is a good 4th line. I’ve thought about Spooner taking Campbell’s spot bc you HAVE to incorporate him somewhere next year. You have to. 4th line center is really the only center spot potentially available and they won’t play him on wing…or they shouldn’t. Kelly and Paille are skilled and fast enough to justify putting a skilled player like Spooner with them, bc he is so young. Those wingers play great defense, too. Spooner is top 6 guy in the NHL most likely but as a player just starting out, I would put him there.

    • flyerspsu - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Like marchand who’s been doing that stuff for years … Thornton is not being resigned b/c he’s 36, struggles to do his job as well as he used to and the game continues to focus more on speed rather truculence

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        Brian Burke? Is that you?

    • montrealbbr - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      I have a friend who is an accountant and he told me the Bruins wont be re-signing Thornton because he’s old and they can probably bring up some AHL goon to take his place for a quarter of the price.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        You have friends? Now *that* is news.

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        I don’t like you, but that was pretty damn funny.

  7. bruinsfan55 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Thank you Thornton for everything you have done for not just this organization but for the city and state of mass. You have, more than, known your role on this team and you excelled in it. You will be greatly missed. #ThankYouThornton

  8. c9castine - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    see ya.

    in all seriousness though, he could bring a lot to a team like calgary who has some young guys looking for leadership that should be pushed into bigger offensive roles. thornton would be a great guy to play the 4th line for a year or two on a team like that with a low payroll

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      I don’t understand why this statement is being thumbed down. I suspect he may end up in Florida(the state.)

      • c9castine - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        because im a pens fan

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        I know you are, but it was an HONEST statement. People need to get over who roots for whom, and assess what was said. I’m pretty sure we’ve gone back and forth, but I will still thumbs up appropriately.

  9. dolphincult - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    habs will take him

    • drewsylvania - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      If this happens, I will throw up.

    • 19to77 - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      Yeah, but he won’t take the Habs.

  10. therealdave123 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Time for him to move on, he brings nothing to the table come playoff time and his contributions during the regular season can easily be duplicated and exceeded by someone else.

  11. djshnooks - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Shawn Thornton not being re-signed.

    John Scott not being re-signed.

    What’s that tell you? It tells me that there is no place for goons in hockey…especially if they offer nothing else on the ice.

    Nobody will “miss” either one of them…hockey is better off without them.

    • nunan - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      I think all of the comments above refute that. He WILL be missed and he’ll be signed somewhere on a 1 year, cheap deal. So nothing you said really stands up. And just bc their roles were the same (enforcers) doesn’t mean they’re comparable. Thornton has skill, as PC said in the video, and actually helped the team in meaningful ways..the most significant being inserted back into the lineup during the finals against the Canucks. Completely changed that series. He is the definition of a role player and those guys have value. You’re right, there is no place for goons. There is a place for Thornton.

      • c9castine - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        some people refuse to get past perceptions and reputations and to the reality of the player or team.

        im a pens fan, but the reality is that while he is not the shawn thornton of 5 years ago who can score 10-15 goals for you while doing his other duties, he can still fill a role for the right team.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Says someone who never followed a team he played for.

      Thornton (and most goons) > John Scott.

  12. charastein - Jun 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    He was a good Bruin for a long stretch there and was part of one of the better 4th lines in the league.

    Thanks for everything Thorty.

    Subban called and said thanks for the bath!

  13. sjsharks66 - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Really surprised that they are not signing him. He may be getting old but he plays with a lot of heart and a lot of fight. Best of luck Thornton. Still one of my favorite Bruins players.

  14. thejudgesays - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    That’s ah wicked pissah! 22 is a champion and a competitor. He will have a new home if he wants one. Edmonton makes sense,familiar face in ference, the young guns could use some of his work ethic/grit… not to mention I’m sure you feel a bit safer on the ice if 22 is running around in your teams sweater.

  15. papajack1259 - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Hockey wise no. But Subban is such a dick head when he is flopping and moaning to the ref, I can not help wonder if the water incident had something to do with this decision?
    The series changed after that…I see a lot of Belicheks
    Mentality in Chirelli &Julian 22 was a decent player as well as fighter but with Fraizer coming along & Carron they will not miss him He just might retire and coach

  16. leninthebuff - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    I’d like to see Buffalo sign him, he may have lost a little in the role of enforcer but I think he would be ideal to showing leadership to the young kids and maybe showing Kaleta how to be a pro. He’s been a class act except for that one bleep last year.

  17. beergold - Jun 17, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    He’ll be a Leaf before the end of the summer!

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