May 21, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Shawn Thornton (22) takes a shot on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the second period in game three of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins Free Agency: Shawn Thornton signs with Florida Panthers.

Free agency didn’t last too long for former Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton.It appears that Shawn Thornton has been signed by the Florida Panthers. Thornton signed a two year, $2.4 million dollar contact with the Panthers organization. It’s a bit of a raise from the $1.1 million he made for the Black and Gold last year.

Shawn Thornton spent the last seven seasons suiting up in the Black in Gold. In his time as a member of the Bruins, he tallied seventy six points (34 goals). In all he played four hundred and eighty games for Boston. Thornton was known for being a player who was totally fearless when engaging members of the opposing team, and usually led the Bruins in fighting majors. In his Boston career, number twenty two earned (kind of odd saying that when it comes to PIM) 748 penalty minutes. That’s twelve plus games worth of penalties.

The Bruins elected to not offer Thornton a contract at the conclusion of this past season. There were multiple reasons. The salary cap was going to be extremely tight for the Bruins this year. There were plenty of young players in Providence who could go out and do the job Thornton was doing as a fourth line winger and do it for less money. Shawn Thornton’s main job was to ride wing on what was considered the best fourth line in the NHL. As a member of the Merlot Line, Thornton (along with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell) brought energy, physicality, and the occasional amazing goal for the Bruins. Here is one more look at the penalty shot goal against the Winnipeg Jets that should be in his retirement reel.

Thornton was the Bruins only multiple Cup winning player on the roster when he parted waves with Boston(Anaheim in 2007 and Boston in 2011).  Safe travels old friend. We’ll see you back in Boston in the future.

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