The Florida Panthers promised to be busy during free agency and they kept their promise as they added 6 players to the roster. The players included Willie Mitchell, Al Montoya, Shawn Thornton, Jussi Jokinen, Derek MacKenzie and Dave Bolland. These players bring in a nice combo of skill, toughness, veteran leadership and playoff experience that will be very valuable to our young team. Signing these guys also adds depth that will allow the younger players like, Vincent Trocheck and Quinton Howden to fine-tune their skills further before making the jump to the big club. Lets take a look at each of the signings individually and grade them. Today we will break down what enforcer, Shawn Thornton can bring to the Panthers.
Shawn Thornton – 2 year contract worth $2.4 million – Grade C
- When Krys Barch was let go into the free agent waters it left a void in the Panthers line-up. We had very few, if any, forwards who would without even a moments hesitation drop the gloves and stand up for their teammates. General Manager, Dale Tallon quickly resolved that issue as he signed 36 year old, Shawn Thornton to a 2 year contract worth $1.2 million a year. In my opinion, this is an over payment for an aging enforcer and its the main reason why I gave a “C” grade. To compare to last season, enforcer Krys Barch made just $750,00. However, this is no doubt a good signing for our young team. Thornton has great character, grit, veteran leadership, and he is a winner of 2 Stanley Cups. With all the signings on July 1st, these qualities were a common theme for the players we signed. He wont light up the stat sheet but his presence on the ice changes the atmosphere of a game. Teams wont knock around our young stars knowing that there is someone on the opposing team who will drop the gloves. For an enforcer he has some pretty good hands, remember this?
“I demanded $28 million, but they came in just shy of that, I wanted Stastny’s contract, but it came in a little less.” – Shawn Thornton
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