The Bruins announced today that they have signed Shawn Thornton to a 2-year extension worth a reported $812,500 per season. The B's tough guy dropped the gloves 21 times this season while racking up 141 penalty minutes. He also chipped in with 10 points (1-9-10) and averaged 9:02 of ice time per game.
Thornton and Bruins GM Peter Chairelli spoke with members of the media on Friday afternoon via conference call to announce the contract extension. Thornton expressed his happiness about staying in the city that he and his family have called home for the past three years, saying "I’ve said all along that I want to be a Bruin for as long as possible. I love this city, I love being here and I’m still here so I’m really glad to be back and I’m glad we could make it happen."
Thornton also praised the Bruins fan base for their support during his tenure in a black and gold uniform, "Just the whole city in general is a big reason why we wanted to stay. As far as the fans go they’ve been nothing but unbelievable to me the whole time I’ve been here. The city kind of embraced me as a player and my family as a Bostonian I suppose. Happy to be back, looking forward to a big year next year and I’ll do my best to work hard this summer and get ready for a better year next year."
Peter Chiarelli spoke highly of the veteran winger's pugilist skills, work ethic, leadership ability, and character during this afternoon's conference call, "Shawn has been a terrific solider for us in the time that he’s been here. He’s always amongst the leaders in fisticuffs. I’ll use fisticuffs instead of fighting because it’s an art for Thorny."
"I know he can provide some offense on the forecheck," said Chiarelli, "Tremendous character, good in the room and wants to be in Boston. It was a good decision that me made. It was a relatively easy decision that we made and we’re happy to have him back." Chiarelli went on to say, "Thorny is one of the guys we want to have around and he’s a good person and he works hard. He comes to work everyday and works hard and sets a very good example."
I think this is a solid signing for the Bruins. Thornton is a veteran leader on this team and a guy that gives you more than just fights. Some might can him a "goon" but make no mistakes, Shawn Thornton is a hockey player. What he does might not show up on the scoresheet, but he is a valuable member of this team.
$812,500 per season seems in line with the current market for NHL enforcers, which was set around the $1 million mark when the Maple Leafs shelled out that sum last summer for the services of Colton Orr. If there is one type of player that I don't mind seeing getting paid, it is the tough guys. These guys earn every penny they make.
It's a good signing for the B's and I am happy to see that Thorty will be patrolling the ice at TD Garden for the next 2 years.
Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder reader Arenacale