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.

Schaller (lower body) has resumed skating, conditioning

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Schaller (lower body) has resumed skating, conditioning

BRIGHTON, Mass – With the Bruins relatively healthy at this point, they may be getting their roster back to full health sooner rather than later.

Tim Schaller has missed the last seven games after suffering a lower body injury crashing into the boards all the way back in a March 8 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The 26-year-old has resumed skating on his own before or after regular Bruins practice in the last couple of days, but hasn’t yet rejoined the group after missing the last two plus weeks.

Bruce Cassidy indicated that there’s no timetable for his return as Riley Nash and Dominic Moore have tried out different linemates including fellow Providence College hockey alum Noel Acciari.

“He has just begun to skate,” said Cassidy. “I don’t know how far out he is. He is just starting the process of going on the ice for the conditioning part. That’s his stage of recovery.”

Schaller has been a regular staple on the fourth line for the Bruins this season with seven goals and 14 points in 58 games. His size, occasional offense and energy have allowed the New Hampshire kid to be a pleasant surprise for the Black and Gold this season. 

Morning Skate: Hart conversation changing daily

Morning Skate: Hart conversation changing daily

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are going to royally choke once again.

* Old friend Brett Connolly has rediscovered his game with the Washington Capitals, and been nominated for the Masterton Trophy.

* The NHLPA is considering restricting hockey player agents from contacting amateur players under 16 years old.

* PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk blasting Sidney Crosby as a “whiner.”

* Josh Ho-Sang was ready for battle in Pittsburgh while wearing the No. 66 uniform that is sacred in that city.

* The Hart Trophy conversation seems to change daily around the NHL as so many different players, like Brad Marchand or Nikita Kucherov, are taking runs at consideration.

* Chinese investors are looking at the NHL as somewhere they can expand their footprint and involvement in the league.

* It’s been a tough year for Patrick Sharp with the Dallas Stars after leaving the hockey nirvana that is the Chicago Blackhawks.  

* For something completely different: All kinds of interesting information is coming out about the Han Solo movie.