BostonBruins.com — The first time Shawn Thornton met Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli, their conversation provided an eerie foreshadow as the enforcer prepared to don the Spoked-B for the first time.
“I mean, I remember when I first signed here. I came in to meet Peter [Chiarelli] and he was like, ‘How is your conditioning,’ or whatever, I said, ‘It’s probably not as good as it would be had we not went into mid June,’” Thornton said.
“But he says, ‘Well, if we have that problem here one day, that’ll be a good problem,’ and I agreed.”
DRAFT: 1997 – 7th round (190th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs
CONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2011-12 ($812,500 cap hit)
2010-11 SEASON: 10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points, plus-8 in 79 games
2011 PLAYOFFS: 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, minus-1 in 18 games LOOKING BACK ON 2010-11
If put to the test, you’d have a hard time naming an NHL player who has more fun than Shawn Thornton — especially this past season. En route to his first double-digit campaign in both goals and assists, Thornton found himself neck-and-neck with the Devils’ $100 million dollar man, Ilya Kovalchuk, as the two each had five goals apiece in early December.
Thornton obviously couldn’t keep pace with the Russian sniper, but that certainly doesn’t diminish the winger’s widespread contributions. He and center Gregory Campbell developed great chemistry and, alongside Brad Marchand and later Dan Paille, formed arguably the best fourth line in all of hockey.