After a short time span with the Florida Panthers, Shawn Thornton decided to call it quits and hang the skates up after the 2016-17 season concluded.
I felt the need to write about Shawn as I thought he brought some great memories here, despite his short stay. To start, Thornton was drafted in 1997 by the Toronto Maple leafs in the 7th round. Unfortunately, he did get any playing time with the Leafs, as he played in the AHL with the St. John’s Maple Leafs (Former AHL team).
He was later traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, in which he would finally see playing time. Shawn would only last three seasons with the Hawks, tallying 3 points (2G and 1A) in 31 games. Thornton was then traded to the Anaheim Ducks. He only played 1 season (2007-08) for the Ducks. That season happened to be the year in which Anaheim brought their first cup home. It was also Shawn’s first time winning the cup as well.
His time was short with the Ducks (1 year), but he later moved on to something that would be his most memorable moment in his entire career. That would be in Boston of course. We can officially say, that those 7 years in “B-Town” were his most memorable years. Not only did he win another Cup, he also set career years for himself, which made him a more recognizable player in the league. Whether it was fighting, scoring, assisting, or leading, Shawn did it all during his time in Boston. That is something they will never forget.
After 7 glorious years in “B-Town”, Shawn ended up signing a 2 year contract with the Cats. He may have not put up “fancy numbers”, but he sure enough won our hearts with his passion, dedication, and drive. Thornton was brought in to scrap and be a leader for the young guys. He certainly did both. Shawn was also a “fan favorite” in the eyes of many.
I had the opportunity to meet Thornton at a pre-game skate in Buffalo. I can without a doubt say that he had the funniest and most welcoming personality out of all the players I met (no offensive to all the other players, you guys were awesome as well). Not only did he sign my jersey, but he spoke with me for a good five minutes. Between cracking the jokes and asking him questions, I sincerely appreciated the time he spent with me, and will forever cherish that moment with him.
After his 2 year contract had finished, Shawn ended up re-signing for one more year. Unfortunately, 2016-17 would be his final season in the NHL. Thornton ended his final season with 2G, 2A, and 4 points all together. It was announced that Thornton would be joining the Cats front office, with a “business related job”.
On behalf of the fans, I want to thank you for everything that you have done for this organization. You certainly weren’t the “flashiest” player on the ice, but showed heart at rates most players wished they could show. Your time here may have been short, but each memory that you created on and off the ice will always be cherished in our hearts, forever.