May 25, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton (22) fights with New York Rangers forward Derek Dorsett (15) in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

The alternate case for the alternate captain: Shawn Thornton

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A few days ago, one of our team here at Causeway Crowd made a case for Milan Lucic getting the position of assistant captain next season. I thought it wasn’t a bad idea. I really love Looch. he has his physicality, his on-ice work, and how he handles himself off the ice. I personally think there is a better candidate for the “A”.

That candidate is Shawn Thornton. Shawn Thornton is the only active Bruin with multiple Stanley Cup rings. That fact alone gives him a level of experience no other Bruin has at the moment. He’s also one of the senior players on the team. He was selected in the seventh round(190th overall) of the 1997 Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Thornton has practical experience at the OHL, AHL, and NHL levels. He’d be outstanding teaching newer players coming up from the lower leagues.

Shawn Thornton is one of our grinders. He’s been the team enforcer, and has led the league in the past in fighting majors. Here’s a great selection of his best work.  He is willing to engage practically any one in the league (even dedicated “goons” like the Buffalo Sabres’ John Scott.) While I’m not a fan of the ‘goon’ term, if you have less goals than your opponent has Stanley Cup rings, you’re probably a goon.

He’s one of those players that will be vocal with his line. The Merlot Men have developed a near hive-mind mentality these last few seasons. He’s great with his team. An agitated Shawn Thornton glared down an under performing Tyler Seguin and told him that if he was going to make a difference in the post-season that “Now’s the time.”  He’s also vocal with the other guys.

He also runs the Shawn Thornton Foundation. He has his annual ‘Putts-and-Punches’ golf tournament to fight Parkinsons. He’s a permanent fixture every time the Bruins get their heads shaved for Dana Farber. He’s a man that lives in Boston year round. He’s made a commitment to be part of this city for the remainder of his professional career. (Like Bergy, he wants to retire a Bruin.)

He’s a good player. Not a prolific scorer, but the ‘C’s and the ‘A’s don’t always go to the leading scorers. They go to the leaders. The ones that motivate their lines, that drive their team, bedevil their opponents, and inspire a community to rally behind their own. That is why I believe that Shawn Thornton deserves the ‘A’ next season.

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