Forward Shawn Thornton agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Financial terms were not released.
"Shawn is a highly respected and hardworking member of our hockey club, both on and off the ice," general manager Dale Tallon said. "His experience and leadership have made a positive impact on our locker room and on our young players as they continue their development."
Thornton, 38, has one goal, three points and 50 penalty minutes in 35 games this season, his second with the Panthers. He spent the previous seven seasons with the Boston Bruins. He would have become a free agent on July 1.
Thornton is a member of two Stanley Cup championship teams, the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and the Bruins in 2011.
"Shawn is a true professional," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "He is an important voice on our team and is a welcoming presence in the dressing room. He's a veteran player that knows what it takes to win. I'm very pleased to have him back for another year."
Thornton was selected in the seventh round of the 1997 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2002-03 season.
He has 40 goals, 96 points and 1,006 penalty minutes in 640 regular-season games with the Blackhawks, Ducks, Bruins and Panthers. He has one goal, seven points and 81 penalty minutes in 101 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"Shawn is the embodiment of the selfless, team-first culture we are trying to create on and off the ice with the Florida Panthers and has made himself an important part of the South Florida community," owner and chairman Vinnie Viola said. "We look forward to having this man of character as a leader within our organization for many years to come."