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Scott Thornton Honored For Philanthropic Efforts

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

As a testament to his leadership skills both on and off the ice, Sharks rugged winger Scott Thornton recently received recognition as the team’s nominee for both the King Clancy Award and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The King Clancy Award is an annual award given "to the player in the league that best exemplifies leadership qualities both on-and off-the-ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community” and each teams’ nominee is voted upon by his teammates.

The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and a $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the winner.

The NHL Writers' Association presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, and who died Jan. 15, 1968.

Thornton, 35, is the Sharks most-experience player, competing in his 15th season in the NHL. He has scored 546 career points (189 goals, 357 assists) in 836 career games. A true leader, Thornton’s off-ice commitment to fitness and an involvement in the community as well as his on-ice grit and determination set the standard for Sharks excellence. He assists The Sharks Foundation, which offers unique resources and financial support to organizations that enhance the lives of the local youth, in many endeavors.
A recap of his off season contributions to the local community:

Team spokesman for the Seagate 8th Grade Leadership awards
• Recognizes outstanding scholastic, academic and philanthropic achievement for 8th graders in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties
• Appears in a video (shown during the event) – discusses the importance of character, respect, goal setting and teamwork…challenges each child to excel at school and at home
• Autographs Sharks items for every winner (80-100 per year)

Participated in stick auction to benefit a local fire fighter battling a life threatening illness
• Along with Sharks Captain, Patrick Marleau, he assisted in organizing a game-used stick auction in order to help off-set future family expenses

Sharks & Parks Street Hockey program
• Made visits to the Children’s Shelter (a facility dedicated to serving the needs of abused / neglected children and / or those that have been forcibly removed from their homes) to play street hockey

Children’s Shelter
• Organized a toy drive in his neighborhood – collected toys that would be passed out during the holidays at the Children’s Shelter (independent of what the Sharks do each year)
• Initiated this event in order to teach his children as well as the neighbor children the importance of giving back

Sharks Foundation activities
• Yearly participant in the Sharks holiday adoption party
• Purchases toys for underserved family
• Joins the family for dinner and skating at HP Pavilion
• Featured player in Reading is Cool video
• Distributed to participating classrooms in the Sharks Foundation Reading is Cool program
• Featured guest reader in the Reading is Cool program
• Volunteers to read to children

Contributes countless autographed items to local charities in the attempt to assist them with their respective fundraising

Volunteered to host auction winners from outside foundations to games during the 05-06 season
• Includes game tickets
• Post-game dressing room tours
• Autographed memorabilia

Sharks blacktop resurface project – the Sharks resurface a local elementary school playground each year with assistance from The Good Tidings Foundation
• Attends the ceremony
• Plays hockey with the kids
• Signs autographs

Team spokesman for a Sharks corporate initiative with team partner, OSH
• A school beautification project
• Has committed to attend / participate in a day of weeding, planting, etc in order to give a local school a “face-lift”
• School to be located in an underserved area of San Jose (site TBD)

Active participant in the Charlie Wedemeyer Celebration of Hope event each year
• Schedule permitting, he attends the dinner / awards
• Presents candidates for scholarship
• Provides memorabilia in support of the event fundraising

Volunteers for the yearly Sharks luxury suite owner’s skate at HP Pavilion
• Comes in on a day-off to meet suite owners, sign autographs and skate with their kids

An avid cyclist, Thornton, who sets the bar for physical fitness in the Sharks locker room, took part last summer in “The Death Ride,” a 129-mile bike trek that included 16,000 feet of climbing over five mountain passages south of Lake Tahoe. He finished in the top-20 percent of the 3,000 cyclists who entered and finished the ride, completing the course in nine hours. During the recent Olympic Break, Thornton used his time to participate in the Amgen Tour of California, competing in the race’s only time trial in South San Jose and finishing it in a respectable 48-minutes.

Since joining the Sharks, Thornton has produced 147 points (77-70=1475) in 342 games in his five seasons with the Sharks. He managed only 117 points (55-62=117) in 494 games with Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal and Dallas prior to joining San Jose.

Originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft (1st round, 3rd overall), he was signed by San Jose as a free agent on July 1, 2000.

On November 30, Scott was reunited with his cousin when the Sharks acquired Joe Thornton from Boston. Immediately playing on a line with Joe and Jonathan Cheechoo, Scott eased the transition for Joe, helping the former Bruin reach career highs in points and assists. Scott invited Joe to live with him and his family during his time of transition and the two lived together for several weeks.

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