Shawn Thornton on why players haven't accepted deal

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Shawn Thornton on why players haven't accepted deal

Bruins winger Shawn Thornton joined Gary Tanguay and Mike Felger on UNO's Sports Tonight Tuesday night and discussed the current state of the NHL lockout.

So, how's he feeling about it all right now?

"Frustrated, angry, would like to just be playing but obviously it's out of our hands right now," Thornton said. "It seems like it's just another money grab and won't fix anything. It's kind of our stance so we're looking for ways to fix it but the league doesn't really want to hear our ideas."

Thornton, who expects the league and players to start up talks again soon, isn't sure about how long the lockout could last. But he knows why the players are taking a stand.

"Right now it's either a 24-percent roll back was the first offer from the owners," Thornton said. "The second one was 18-20 percent depending on certain numbers. We want to fix it. We know there's some markets that are in trouble and we want to help those markets by growing the game in those markets and going forward, but just reaching into our pockets and taking 20-percent of our contracts that we negotiated in good faith we don't think is the answer."

While some owners are crying poor, others are signing players with no issue. Some are both crying poor and signing players to big contracts.

"We had Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold in the negotiating committee for the league saying how terrible he was doing, then he signed 240 million (closer to 200 million) worth of contract for two guys over 14 years the next day," Thornton said. "So it's very confusing for everyone, us included. It's tough to believe it sometimes but we're trying to figure out a way to get through it."

Some NHL players can go to the KHL in Russia and still get paid a high enough salary to make it worth not signing a bad deal with the owners. Felger notes Penguins star Evgeni Malkin as one example.

But for a guy like Thornton, that money isn't available like that. Thornton admits he's starting to get his "ducks in a row" in terms of playing overseas if need be, but he also hopes it doesn't come to that.

"I'm still optimistic, I still hope we get this done in the next little bit," he said. "But I also don't want to get caught with my pants down either."

As far as missing an entire year of hockey, it would certainly hurt someone like Thornton's bank account. But just like players before him took a hit for the future of the game, Thornton is prepared to do the same.

Morning Skate: Kovalchuk looking to return to NHL

Morning Skate: Kovalchuk looking to return to NHL

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading while watching Trolls for about the 1,000th time with my son this morning.
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Marc Spector chronicles the Edmonton Oilers showing they’re ready for the challenge in advancing over the San Jose Sharks.
 
-- Interesting report from Elliotte Friedman about Ilya Kovalchuk looking to return to the NHL with the Devils, or somebody willing to trade for his rights.

-- Hard to believe the Predators and Blues have never met before in the playoffs, but this is why I like the new postseason format and the way it fosters divisional rivalries.
 
-- The Minnesota Wild went out on their shields, with Eric Staal getting hospitalized after going headfirst into the boards in the Game 5 loss that eliminated his team.
 
-- Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says changes are coming after an extremely disappointing first-round sweep at the hands of the Predators.

-- Joe Smith cracks open the mailbag to answer some questions about the Tampa Bay Lightning and what should be an interesting offseason for the .
 
-- For something completely different: Joanie from Happy Days, gone too soon, is remembered by her former co-stars.

Injured Torey Krug resumes skating for Bruins

Injured Torey Krug resumes skating for Bruins

The longer that the Bruins can hang around in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the greater the chances they can enter some healthy bodies back into the equation. 

Just a couple of weeks after Torey Krug went down with a lower body injury that had him in a knee brace and crutches leaving the TD Garden, the Bruins top puck-moving defenseman began his road back to recovery with some skating on the ice. It wasn’t part of a full practice as the Bruins had the day off the ice following their epic Friday night double-overtime Game 5 win over the Ottawa Senators, but it was still encouraging to see Krug make forward progress. 

“He started that process of his rehab, so he’s on the ice,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug, who has missed all five of the games in the first round playoff series thus far. “I don’t believe Carlo was on the ice today.”

It was clear Krug was making progress when he traveled with the rest of the Bruins to Ottawa for Friday night’s Game 5, and now one has to wonder if he can somehow be a factor at the end of this first round series against the Senators. Obviously a return for Game 6 on Sunday afternoon would be out of the question given that he hasn’t even practiced with the team, but one has to wonder if a possible Game 7 could happen given that the game wouldn’t be played until Wednesday night in Ottawa. 

While the Bruins have survived without Krug in the lineup, he could have a major impact on Boston’s ability to swiftly move through the 1-3-1 trap and execute some of the stretch passes and transition plays that Ottawa has been successfully throwing at the Bruins throughout the series. Krug could also make an impact on the Bruins power play that’s been down (2-for-14 for a 14.3 percent success rate) in the postseason from their potency during the regular season.