Thornton: 'I don't like the way things are going'

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Thornton: 'I don't like the way things are going'

Shawn Thornton is back in Boston after spending some time back home skating with the Oshawa Generals over the last few weeks, and hes concerned about the direction the NHL lockout is taking.

The calendar has now entered November, all NHL games up until Dec. 1 have been cancelled and its now Day No. 47 of the lockout.

The Bruins fourth-line winger granted an interview with Greg Hill on the WAAF Hillman Morning Show, and said that he along with many other NHL players isnt sure what to make of the reports the Winter Classic may be cancelled at the end of this week. Thornton attended the NHLPANHL negotiations in Toronto two weeks ago and spoke his mind, and has mixed feelings as a player in his mid-30s that will be giving up key earning years if the NHL misses an entire season due to the lockout.

I havent heard anything good. From what Ive heard the NHL has refused to meet with us and then is going to go ahead and cancel the Winter Classic, said Thornton. I dont know if its to create leverage. I really dont have a feel for this. You would think theyd want to get everybody in a room to find a solution for this.

I dont know if its just a PR trick. I dont know if theyre adamant about shutting down for the season or only having a half-season. I dont have a feel for it, but either way I dont like the way things are going.

The 35-year-old has previously called the two-year, 2.2 million contract extension he signed going into this season as his nest egg, and is legitimately concerned about kissing some or all of that money goodbye due to labor issues.

Im worried. Financially Ive made some pretty good money the last couple of years. So Im not hurting, but Im definitely concerned that I dont have any paychecks coming in at this point, said Thornton. For guys like me I have a few years left and Im kind of caught in the middle and squeezed out on both sides. If this goes on for a year or two then Im probably done and I have to go back to working for a living.

Thats fine. Ive done it before. I worked in a steel factory when I was younger. But on the other side Id like to play out the last two years of my contract and be a little bit ahead after fighting 400 times over the last 15 years.

Thornton worked the late shift in an Oshawa-area steel factory from 16-19 years old that has employed his father for 37 years, so he knows what working for a living is all about. He also knows that NHL careers are essentially on borrowed time, and is just hoping a solution over the next month will let him put off the real world for a few more years.

Its not the end of the world. I get it, said Thornton. But if I could not go back there and play out the last couple of years then that would be ideal.

There is a faction of NHL players particularly the veterans that sound increasingly ready to make some kind of deal with the league if discussion sparks up again, so perhaps that will happen this week instead of a Debbie Downer announcement canceling the Jan. 1 Winter Classic.

Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

The Boston Bruins selected U.S. National Development center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft.

Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

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Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.

I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.

As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.

Bruins take BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy with the 14th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins take BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy with the 14th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

BUFFALO – The Bruins took their highest-rated defenseman when the pick came to them at the No. 14 spot, and they selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who tore up Hockey East as the young player in college hockey last season.

The 18-year-old Charlie McAvoy had three goals and 25 points in37 games for the Terriers while skating in a pairing with Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk, and showed off the kind of elite skating and offensive skills that will play well at the NHL level. It was thought the Bruins would take McAvoy or fellow BU-recruit Dante Fabbro at the 14th spot when they held onto the pick, but that was perhaps shaken a little bit when Jakub Chychrun fell all the way down to their spot.

The Bruins stuck with their scouting instincts and took the offensively gifted McAvoy, who profiles as a next generation NHL player with his sturdy six foot, 208-pound frame and ability to skate like the wind. He was understandably excited, and even said that he’s come around from hating some of the Boston teams as a native New Yorker after spending the year at Boston University.

“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the Bruins. I’ve gotten close to [the Bruins] in the past year. I’m sure some of my friends back home aren’t happy I’m cutting the ties with New York sports, but Boston is an unbelievable city with great sports and great people. I’m glad to be staying there,” said McAvoy. “You grow up and taught not to like [Boston teams] because of the rivalry. But I've got a Red Sox hat and that’s the first step. Now I'm got that Bruins jersey and it’s pretty cool. I’ll just keep going, but I don’t know if I could ever be a Pats fan, but we’ll see."

Give McAvoy a little time and perhaps he’ll come around to the right side of the New England Patriots argument after some years spent with the Black and Gold.  

Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs