BOSTON -- On Friday morning, Shawn Thornton said that he still couldn't believe there wasn't a practice that day.
Instead, the Bruins were packing up and going home for the summer. When they return for the 2012-13 season, Thornton will be just as surprised if he won't have his line mates back with the B's for another run.
Both Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille are free agents. But Thornton made his case for wanting the Bruins to re-sign them.
"I don't know what's going to happen," said Thornton. "I hope Campbell and Paille are back. All I know is, it's been an absolute pleasure to play with those two guys for the last two years. I wouldn't be where I am, as far as coming back with a contract. I wouldn't be there without those guys.
"I'm very fortunate that I play with two guys that are probably third-line guys on 20 of the other 30 teams, I'd say. Us being the fourth line on this team shows our depth, but, I'm very fortunate to have those two guys as my line mates for sure.
"And I hope they're back, I really do," said Thornton. "Because I love playing with them."
Now THIS is old-time hockey!
There's bad blood between the Bruins' David Backes and the Stars' Jamie Benn that goes back a long way, most recently in last spring's Dallas-St. Louis playoff series when Backes was still with the Blues. They met again today -- and the ungodly (hockey) hour of 11:30 a.m. Dallas time -- for a nationally televised game between Backes' new team, the Bruins, and the Stars.
And it didn't take long for the two to renew acquaintances . . .
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while so glad to see Dave Strader getting the play-by-play call in this afternoon’s national NBC broadcast of Stars and Bruins from Dallas.
-- Jeremy Roenick weighs in with some trade possibilities involving Avalanche and Blues players in what could be a blockbuster at the deadline.
-- Antoine Vermette acknowledges his wrongdoing in making a statement about his 10-game suspension for slashing an official, but feels like the punishment was too severe.
-- Don Cherry wishes a happy 40th anniversary to Slap Shot while wearing a Charleston Chiefs jersey as he hosts Coaches Corner.
-- Speaking of Slap Shot, what an Old Time Hockey fight between the AHL's Iowa Wild and Chicago Wolves. It spilled into the hallway afterward . . . that’s when things get real.
-- I've been asked multiple times about the white Boston hat David Pastrnak is always wearing in the Bruins dressing room, so here it is.
-- Here’s all the Dallas Stars info you need ahead of this afternoon’s 11:30 a.m. local start in Dallas for the Stars and Bruins.
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning indicating that the mumps outbreak for his team won’t impact the trade deadline.
-- For something completely different: the headline seems a little click baity to me, but I’ll read about anything involving Homer Simpson and the Baseball Hall of Fame.