BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 20: Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins and Colton Orr #28 of the Toronto Maple Leafs fight in the first period on October 20, 2011 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
6'2" 217 lbs
138 career fighting majors
752 career penalty minutes
First fight: Brad Brown September 12, 1999
Last Fight to date: Jay Rosehill March 6, 2012
Shawn Thornton is without a doubt one of the toughest guys in the NHL. He doesn't back down from any fight and never hesitates to stick up for one of his teammates. He is also one of the most talented enforcers in the league who can not only damage you with his knuckles, but can also get his name on the scoreboard as well. Thornton has proved that there isn't a moment that he will not drop the gloves, even if he has a fresh batch of stitches sewn into his battered flesh.
One of the best series of fights in Thornton's career include Riley Cote during the 2007-08 season. Both bouts were classic brawls where there was little defense and more taking a punch to give a punch. Cote's career only lasted four years or the two may have had more memorable fights. Long time enforcer Eric Boulton has always brought the best out of Thornton. The two have squared of on five separate occasions and not a single match has been a disappointing. Blood has been shed, ripped apart knuckles and a hand full shiners, but for both brawlers it is just another day at the office.
Fighting in the NHL isn't what it used to be. It is slowly becoming a lost art where there is a higher demand for scorers and a finesse style game. There are a lot more cheap shot players in the league because there aren't as many enforcers on each roster to police the game like it should be. The Bruins however have not only one of the toughest enforcers in the league but one of the most talented which is another reason Thornton gets the ice time he does. Thornton is a fan favorite in Boston and it isn't because he can put up 50 goals or 100 points in a season,it it because he can beat the brains out of the opposition. He has always been a large part of the heart and soul for any team he has ever had the honor of having him on their roster.