Boston Bruins: Welcome Home Shawn Thornton.


Mar 6, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman

Torey Krug

(47) talks with right wing

Shawn Thornton

(22) prior to a face-off during the third period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, Shawn Thornton makes his return to the TD Garden.  He’ll be returning in a Florida Panthers uniform. At the end of last season, the Bruins had decided to part waves with the fourth line forward, and he was quickly snapped up on the first day of free agency. The Panthers organization wanted some veteran presence to back up their young forwards, and Thornton fills that role to a tee.

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  • The Boston Bruins (7-6-0) have had a lot of success over the Panthers(4-2-3) during their match-ups. The Panthers haven’t won on the road against Boston since December 8th 2011, and have lost their last eight straight games to the Black and Gold. That being said Shawn Thornton still likes his chances.

    “I honestly think we have a sneaky good team,” Thornton said in a phone interview with the Boston Globe. “I think a lot of people underrate us. We have really solid D, we’ve got really good goaltending, and we’ve got four pretty good lines when we’re all going. I like this team. I mean, people probably say that I have to say that, but I truly believe that we have a sleeper team here.”

    “Shawn was a big personality on the ice and off the ice. He did a lot for the team and community. Not just one guy is going to be able to fill his shoes, it takes a group effort to try to fill that void of such a large personality – a guy who won two Stanley Cups and has been around awhile.” –  B’s forward Chris Kelly

    Shawn Thornton was mainly known on the ice for his fighting.  Thornton was a lot more than that though. His teammates appreciated his skill set, and especially his humor. Off the ice, he was one of the players that could really connect with the fan base. He was humble, self-deprecating, and completely honest about himself. In the age of multi-million dollar contracts and massive egos, Thornton was a refreshing change. How many pro athletes can claim they worked in a steel mill before making it big?

    More from Bruins News

    On some levels, Shawn Thornton is still a Bostonian. He never sold his house in Charlestown. In interviews he still regards Beantown as his home. “I think that the way people supported me, my foundation, all that stuff,” shared Thornton. “For a fourth-line winger to have that many people take to me that kindly, I think, is kind of how the city is built. They appreciate hard-working, blue-collar guys.” His organization, the Shawn Thornton Foundation still helps hospitals and families in fighting pediatric cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

    There is no doubt that Shawn Thornton will be happy to see the Black and Gold fans tonight.  They adopted him as a favorite son, and he’s still considered part of the family. For all the experiences Thornton’s had in Boston, there is one more thing he’d like to do. “I just want to score on Tuukka [Rask],” Thornton said. “I want the game-winner: 3-2, game-winner.”