BOSTON -- Before Monday's 8-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Garden, the Bruins announced that Shawn Thornton's two-year extension was official.
After the game, Thornton explained why the decision to remain in Boston through the 2013-14 season was an easy one.
"Ive always said I wanted to stay here in Boston," said Thornton. "Its home now. Im very, very happy to get this done, and be around for a couple more years."
"The guys are a great bunch of guys, and its a team thats built with a lot of youth myself excluded obviously but I think they have a bright future here going forward and Id like to be in an environment like this," he added. "I think Ive said it a million times how great the citys been to me and the people here. The fans thats the easy part, theyre amazing to me all the time."
Thornton also admitted that he's glad he no longer has to worry about where he'll be playing for the near future.
"Im not going to lie to you, its a little weight off the shoulders," said Thornton. "But I think myself and the guys that havent had it done yet, have done a pretty good job focusing throughout the season. It wasnt a distraction, but its definitely a little easier when you know youre going to be somewhere for a few years."
Before Monday's game, general manager Peter Chiarelli praised Thornton's qualities that made him a more important commodity than just an enforcer. And after the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien praised those same values that Thornton brings to the table.
"Everybody knows that Shawn will come to play every night, play hard, and go to his team's defense," said Julien. "He's a good team player. He's in that room, he works hard everyday. He's got a lot of qualities, and I think he's got some good leadership qualities in him, that, when it's time to get ready for a game, he's making sure that he's ready, and he's making sure that people around him are ready.
"He's got a job that's not an easy job. And anybody who's played this sport, who's watched this sport close enough, knows how tough it is to go into the job that he does, every night. Whenever we get pushed around or we're behind and we need a wake-up call, all of a sudden he goes and he takes charge. He's never told to do it. He just does it on his own. He knows his role extremely well. For him to be rewarded with a new contract is worthy of his work.
"I'm glad to see that he's here for a couple more years, at least," added Julien. "And the one thing I like about guys that do that job is that they can also play. That's important, in my book. I've always told Peter Chiarelli that. I don't want a guy that you throw out there and can't play."
With Thornton, that's not the case. And that's why the Bruins locked him up for two more seasons.