Bruins GM Chiarelli unsure if pending UFA Shawn Thornton will be retained

by May 17, 9:40 AM

Boston Bruins enforcer and fourth liner Shawn Thornton is a pending unrestricted free-agent, and based on the way other team's executives have name-checked him as an ideal fourth-liner, there will surely be interest in his services on the open market. His current organization, the Boston Bruins, are unsure if they'll be among the bidders, however.

"Thorty I thought had a kind of up and down year," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on Friday per DJ Bean of WEEI. "He got, obviously, the incident with Pittsburgh and you know, there’€™s trends in hockey and the fisticuffs trend — again, this doesn’€™t characterize Thorty as just a fighter because he contributed on that [fourth] line."

Despite Thornton's 'contributions' outside of being a brawler, Chiarelli isn't sure that Thornton's heavy, banging game fits in with his vision for what he wants out of a fourth-line going forward. "That line has had a lot of success in the past," Chiarelli said, speaking of the lionized Merlot line featuring Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Dan Paille, "but there is definitely, we’€™re trending away from that style."

Added the Bruins general manager, "I had a discussion with Thorty this morning and I said, ‘€˜Look, give me a couple weeks to digest what’€™s happened and then we’€™ll go from there.’"

Thornton meanwhile made it clear that he wants to continue his career. While he may have to sign with a new team to continue drawing an NHL salary, his heart will stay in Boston. "I’m hoping I’m back," Thornton told per Zuri Berry. "I don’t know, I haven’t had a meeting yet. If not, I’m still going to be in the community and still going to be here. This is where we live now, this is home. That stuff isn’t going to change."

Jun 16, 4:10 PM

Bruins opt against retaining pending UFA enforcer Shawn Thornton

by Jun 16, 4:10 PM
Michael Ivins / Reuters

General manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday that the Boston Bruins will not retain pending unrestricted free agent enforcer Shawn Thornton. 

In seven seasons policing for the Bruins, Thornton played in 566 games in the regular season and playoffs combined, tallying 35 goals on a fourth-line flank.

With an undeniable passion for the Bruins' crest, Thornton was a fan favorite but his loyalty likely contributed to his undoing. 

The 36-year-old was suspended for 15 games for doing his "job" in an attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and was chastised for spraying water at P.K. Subban in the postseason.  

Thornton won a Stanley Cup ring in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks and again in 2011 with the Bruins.