He had a lot of nicknames. Twos. “Wayne” Thornton. The Third Greatest NHL Player of All Time. Thorty.
It’s no secret we’re HUGE Shawn Thornton fan boys/girls here at Days of Y’Orr. As he played his last NHL game, a great feeling of both nostalgia and sadness over came us.
In 2010, we wrote this about Thornton:
“It is no secret we love Shawn Thornton around here. Not just for his fights. We like his energy. His drive. We love how hard he tries on the ice. We love how awesome he is off the ice. Thornton is a great guy. Very good with fans. Always cracking a joke on and off the ice. He is a true hockey player. He might not score 20 goals. Or even 10 goals. But he is the type of character guy that plays a huge role for successful teams that the box score doesn’t show.”
None of that has changed.
Thornton was known as an enforcer, but if you’ve ever been to a Bruins practice you know the guy had some skill he wasn’t always given the chance to display. He would consistently EMBARRASS Thomas and Rask in practice. Thornton’s hands weren’t just good for punching.
He was also a master at chirping, even displaying some psychic abilities:
Rinaldo was back in the AHL exactly give games later. Pretty much any Thornton line about anyone was great.
He might be even greater off the ice. Thornton has been known to stop by children’s hospitals on his personal time to brighten the day of some sick patients and has his own charity, The Shawn Thornton Foundation, a charity that helps those affected by cancer and Parkinson’s.
Two time Stanley Cup champion. Snappy dresser. More talent than he was ever given credit for. Fantastic human being.
On the ice, in the locker room and in the community… Shawn Thornton was a god damn super star no matter where he was. We’ve missed him in Boston since he went to Florida and now we’ll miss following his exploits as a Panther.
(Thanks to @dafoomie for posting the Thornton tribute)
In classic Thornton fashion, he went out in style in interviews too. From the Panthers:
“I’m happy to be going out on my own terms but you always think you can play a little longer. I’m trying to enjoy it. I didn’t score on my last breakaway [after practice] and I’ll have to live with that the rest of my life.”
And he did promise a while ago that when he retired he’d throw his skates in the trash.
Never change, Thornton. Never change.
Shawn, if you ever happen to read this know that Bruins fans will always hold you in the highest esteem. You were an absolute pleasure to watch and the #22 will always hang from the rafters in our hearts. Thank you for being not only a great Bruin, but a great player and an even better person. We love you, and whatever your post-hockey career brings, we hope it is as great as you. Thanks for everything.