Thornton ready for contract year with Bruins

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Thornton ready for contract year with Bruins

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Shawn Thornton is one of many Bruins players entering the final year of his contract, and looking forward to what the future brings for him in Boston.

The 34-year-old Bruins enforcer is coming off his best individual NHL season and his greatest team experience capturing the Cup with Boston, and he has set the bar high for himself this season. Thornton finished last year with a career-high 20 points (10 goals and 10 assists) along with a plus-8 rating and 122 penalty minutes as a staple within the Bs energy line, and continued as one of the most important leadership voices in an incredibly tight Bs dressing room.

So Thornton is coming off a career year and aiming to put together another one to earn a new deal with the Bruins in the adopted city of Boston that hes made his permanent home. As an enforcer in his mid-30s Thornton knows that hell have to prove himself again on the ice amid a group of peers that get meaner, bigger, stronger and younger every single season.

Sources have indicated to CSNNE.com that the Bruins and Thornton havent engaged in any talks on extending Bostons fighter at this point, but hes hopeful that he can play another four or five years in the NHL. That Thornton hopes it happens in the Boston market where hes carved out an identity for himself goes without saying.

I want to play as long as I can, said Thornton. Obviously there are a lot of things that go into it with injuries. But Ill never have to worry about my conditioning. I always pride myself on being as good shape as possible.

Barring injuries, I dont know, four or five more years. I love the game and I still have a passion for it, and I cant imagine not being around the guys. I love camaraderie. I love everything about it. I know for a fact if Im ever told to hang it up that Ill be miserable for a while afterward, so Ill keep playing as long as I can.

Thornton clearly hopes it all works out with the Black and Gold after the end of his upcoming fifth year with the Bruins, and why should it be any different now. Hes been the right guy in the right place for a role perfectly cast for him with the Bruins. He was able to take part in his banner-raising ceremony with his Anaheim Ducks after hed left to sign his first contract with the Bs, and hes enjoyed a front row seat to the Bruins revival since bursting on the scene in 2006-07.

Thornton calls it the luck of the Irish, and theres no reason to believe it wont stay with him in Boston for a good, long time beyond this season.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are ever going to poop, or get off the pot.
 
*John Tortorella wants everybody to know that he thinks there isn’t a chance that Lebron James could play hockey.
 
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about whether or not Claude Julien should be fired after back-to-back bad losses against the Islanders and Red Wings.
 
*How did Shane Doan arrive at an unhappy place with the Arizona Coyotes where he now is open to moving elsewhere ahead of the trade deadline?
 
*Henrik Lundqvist’s season is entering a crisis level based on what he’s done, and the diminished performance level he’s showing as a more mature goaltender.
 
*A nice piece with a Canadian hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser, who recounts some of the legendary moments of her career through a series of pictures.
 
*I totally respect the work that Travis Yost does, but stating the Bruins should stick with Claude Julien because their shooting percentage is bound to turn around isn’t good enough grounds to keep a floundering situation intact, in my opinion. You need to check where the shots are coming from and how many of those shot attempts are completely missing the net to get a better grasp on some of the reasons behind Boston’s dreadful 10-year low shooting percentage. That would also explain some of the reason why Julien needs to be replaced coaching a team that’s largely content on perimeter shots to do it for them while also only sporadically showing the effort required from a middle class talent type of team.

*The Lightning are struggling at Joe Namath levels right now without Steve Stamkos in their lineup, and they need that to change.
 
*For something completely different: congrats to the Boston boys in New Edition for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.