Boston, MA - Today, via conference call, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke about the signing of forward Shawn Thornton to an extension through the 2011-12 season.
“Shawn has been a terrific solider for us in the time that he’s been here,” said Chiarelli. “It was a relatively easy decision that we made and we’re happy to have him back.”
The 32-year-old Thornton is a veteran of 290 regular season NHL games and has compiled 15 goals, 25 assists and 496 penalty minutes in his seven NHL seasons.
This season marked Thornton’s third with the Bruins, after signing a three-year contract with Boston as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2007. Thornton joined the Bruins after a one year stint with the Anaheim Ducks, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2006-07.
A year-round resident of the Hub of Hockey, Thornton is happy to be staying in Boston and said he and his teammates rely on the fans for alot of support.
“Just the whole city in general is a big reason why we wanted to stay,” said Thornton. “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.”
Last season, the hard-nosed winger played in 74 regular season games for Boston and set career highs in assists (9) and penalty minutes (141), in addition to scoring one goal.
His 21 fighting majors were tops on the team and ranked tied for the fifth most overall in the NHL. He skated in 12 of the team’s 13 playoff games in 2010, and has played in a total of 44 postseason contests in his NHL career.
In his three seasons with the Bruins, Thornton appeared in 211 games and tallied 11 goals, 17 assists, 28 points and 338 penalty minutes in the regular season and played 29 games with one goal and 16 penalty minutes in the playoffs.
The 6’2”, 217-pound native of Oshawa, Ontario was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the seventh round (190th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded by the Leafs to the Chicago Blackhawks for Marty Wilford on September 30, 2001 and skated in 31 games with Chicago over three seasons.
Although the Bruins exited the series too early for many fans liking Thornton keeps a positive attitude for the 2010-11 campaign.
“Obviously, everyone was really disappointed with the way things ended," said Thornton. "Peter just said it nothings really changed we just need to come back next year and more on."
"You learn from your mistakes you get ready to do what you have to do to make it the best year possible.”