Bruins extend Thornton for two more seasons

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Bruins extend Thornton for two more seasons

BOSTON -- The Bruins announced today that they've signed forward Shawn Thornton to a two-year extension through the 2013-14 season. General manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed to the media, prior to Monday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, that the deal will earn Thornton 1.1 million per season.

Chiarelli also explained why he'll be keeping Thornton around.

"Since we got Shawn, every year to me, he's improved as a player," said Chiarelli. "That and his conditioning has allowed him to be a good fourth-line player in this league, and then a good catalyst in his own way.

"You see some of the skill that he has, when he scores, when he makes some plays. But most importantly, you see the enthusiasm and the vigor that he brings to the rink every day. He's important for this team, and his character is important for this team.

"So, I'm happy to get him signed," added Chiarelli. "And I believe he just takes so much pride in his conditioning, and that's gotten better over the time that I've seen him. I think, without question, he'll be able to play well for two more years."

Chiarelli said that the Bruins liked Thornton's size when they acquired him following his 2006-07 championship season with the Anaheim Ducks. And while they value his ability to drop the gloves, the Bruins also value his offensive skill set.

"I think you have to define the role," said Chiarelli. "There's the role of someone who exclusively fights, and I don't put Shawn in that category.

"I think what Shawn has done, and it kind of started when he came here, was, he really took pride in his conditioning. And that's allowed him to maintain his skating, and it's allowed him to make plays. it gives him room to make plays. He recognizes that that's a valuable part of his game."

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

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Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.