Thornton booted from O'Connor's corner in TD Garden fight


Thornton booted from O'Connor's corner in TD Garden fight

WILMINGTON, Mass. Shawn Thornton was named after the John Wayne character that bare-knuckle boxes in The Quiet Man and makes no bones about his love for the sport of boxing. He did everything he could to help support local boy Danny Bhoy OConnor during his big fight against New England title holder Derek Silveira at TD Garden last night, and that included agreeing to be the spit bucket guy in his corner during the fight.

Thornton engages in boxing and jujitsu training during the summer and offseason to train for his role as an NHL enforcer, so he was excited to get an up-close-and-personal look at a big-time boxing match.

O'Connor, a IBF and WBC-ranked welterweight, scored the 10-round decision over Silveira. He was awarded scores of 100-89 and 97-93 while the third judge scored the bout a draw at 95-95. O'Connor improved his record to 20-1 with seven KOs after Saturday nights victory.

So the good guy ended up winning the fight, but unfortunately Thornton had to watch from a ringside seat after the second round. OConnors camp was told by the refs that they had one too many people in his corner, and the Bruins fourth liner was the guy told to vamoose.

I paid my 50 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I filled out all the necessary paperwork and I got permission from the commission along with the wrist band that I needed, said Thornton. But the officials came over to our corner in the second round and told us we had too many corner people there.

So I was the one to go, but they still took my 50. Im expletive rattled. Maybe I can get a refund from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick?

Thornton said the Fight Night at the Garden was a huge success with close to 5,000 people attending in the lower bowl as they set tables up around the ring while utilizing half of the hockey rink.

It was pretty loud, said Thornton. There were a lot of people there. The walking out with the OConnor entourage and hanging out with him while he got ready for the fight, Ive done all of that a few times before. But its still a really cool experience.

Its amazing how relaxed, but focused he is before a fight. Hes just watching all of the fights and really chilling out. I was probably more nervous than he was. I wish I could have gone the whole 10 rounds, but they took my money and ran.

The good thing: Theres always next time when Thornton can perform the role as spit bucket guy for OConnor.

Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.


Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

The Bruins’ new practice facility has been years in the making and they will finally get to officially open the doors to Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton next month. 

The B’s players will start informal captain’s practice skates at the new facility on the New Balance property in these final days of August, but the team announced on Friday that the new facility will be officially opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, team president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney and a number of players will be on hand for the opening ceremony and ensuing open house for the media. Also planning to attend from New Balance will be Owner and Chairman Jim Davis and NB Development Group LLC Managing Director Jim Halliday, along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. 

Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” which will feature local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston and West Roxbury mixed in with members of the Bruins alumni. 

The Youth All-Stars will team with Bruins alumni and they will play the first official game before the ice is turned over to the current Bruins players for their training camp later in the month.

The Warrior Ice Arena gets its name from the Warrior brand of hockey equipment that is now a division of New Balance and comes with a 79-foot high Warrior hockey stick that greets visitors at the front entrance doors.

Warrior Ice Arena will be the B’s new and permanent practice home after the Bruins spent 25-plus years practicing in the suburbs of Boston at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. 


Friday, Aug. 26: Coyotes keep taking on dead money in latest deal


Friday, Aug. 26: Coyotes keep taking on dead money in latest deal

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while finally catching up on “The Man in the High Tower” on Amazon.

*The Coyotes and Panthers executed a trade sending Dave Bolland to Arizona, and it’s not exactly great news for Gary Bettman with Arizona continuing to take on a lot of dead money.

*Alex Pietrangelo was appropriately humbled to be named the 21st captain in the history of the St. Louis Blues.

*The Colorado Avalanche have a new head coach, and his name is Jared Bednar, who it is said will get the players to play hard for him.

*The footage of somebody in full goalie equipment running away from a burglary scene is something out of a movie.

*The New York Rangers can never have enough depth, and that’s why they added Brandon Pirri to the mix on Thursday.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker says Lawson Crouse brings the total package in the trade from Florida to Arizona, and he also brings a player that can take a hell of a hit as he was the guy that got rocked by Charlie McAvoy at the World Junior Showcase earlier this month.  

*It’s only 15 days until the US National Team Development Program gets going with their 2016-17 schedule: here it is in full.

*For something completely different: can you see David Ortiz’s face in this corn maze? This could be like an ink blot test.