Shawn Thornton was once a long shot that has worked his rump off to make it to the NHL. “I got cut from junior B,” once offered Thornton. “They said I wasn’t tough enough actually.” He worked his way up from juniors and pushed himself with an intensity matched by few. One of his teammates from his OHL days, Dave Duerden, best summed up ‘the baddest Bruin’.
“He was everything you could hope for as a teammate. He was willing to pay the price for everybody. Everything he’s gotten in his career he’s earned and it’s been uphill for him. He wasn’t going to give up an inch for any one of his teammates, and that’s the way it was right from the first day I met him.”
Shawn Thornton has been paying attention to the talks since they really went into high gear after the end of the season. His fellow ‘Merlot Man’ Dan Paille is the current NHLPA rep for the Boston Bruins. A lot of the Bruins have been speaking out these last few weeks. The players have been honest, yet guarded on how frustrated they are regarding the lack of progress in the talks that has led to the current work stoppage. Thornton however is being as hard and direct as one of his left hooks.
“I just can’t fathom why they are so adamant about the 24 percent cutback and so much more, and their way of negotiating is through a lockout,” Thornton said. “We have made numerous proposals to their first offer and offered to talk and get nothing back from them. To them, it’s their first offer and lockout or nothing. I just don’t see how not negotiating achieves anything and how coming in with your mind made up on a lockout already and from what I hear and see now, canceling games …possibly a season…gets anything done.”
Can you blame the guy for being ticked?( I’m probably madder than he is.) It’s his job, his family’s livelihood, and something he has pushed himself hard to get this far over. Thornton continued with the direct approach in his comments. “We put a lot of thought into that first counter-proposal and they basically just laughed it off,” Thornton said. “Both sides need to see it from the other point of view and I feel we the union are doing that, but they are just stuck on the rollback. It’s frustrating and to tell you the truth as a guy who cares deeply about this game, it’s sad. There is a deal to be made and we need to find it quick.”
He’s right. This man goes out there and performs with more dedication than a lot of us do in our jobs. My very first Bruins game I watched, Thornton was in a fight. The very first Bruins game I got to go to… Thornton was in a fight. He is a testament to the honesty of the game. That form of honesty that went way along time ago in baseball, basketball, and football. The lockout is going into its third week. The whole season could still be played. Regrettably, the NHL’s Board of Governors is so wound up for having the players pay for ownership’s bad calls they will not get the message and we will not get a season.