BostonBruins.com - Shawn Thornton arrived to Boston for the first time as a Bruin in the summer of 2007.
He wasn't yet a Bostonian. He was fresh off signing a three-year deal with the Spoked-B as an unrestricted free agent. He had just won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim.
On that first trip, he made a community appearance and hosted a kids' street hockey clinic at the YMCA in Franklin, Massachusetts. He didn't leave Boston without taking a trip to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox take on the Orioles.
By the time he left, and before he even laced up his skates for the 2007-08 season, he was a Bostonian.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli had acquired him as a step in making the Bruins tougher, and harder to play against.
"He's a thick, physical player," the GM said on the day of the signing. "He's earned everything he's gotten."
"I'm trying to strive and get some vigorous [players] and he is going to help us in that regard."
In Thornton's first season, he found his way into the hearts of the Boston faithful, working hard and providing energy for the Black & Gold every night.
On and off the ice, he appreciated the organization and the community - and they appreciated him right back.
BOSTON - On Monday afternoon, Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli met with Shawn Thornton in his office at TD Garden.
As the GM told BostonBruins.com, the conversation involved a tough goodbye.
"Today I met with Shawn and we had a good meeting, and I informed him that we wouldn't be re-signing him," said Chiarelli.
"It was good in the sense that we talked about the time Shawn has spent here, and he came here and we were talking about it - seven years - so he was here from almost the beginning and I told him that he was one of the most significant acquisitions we made because, one, for the role that he played, two, for the person that he is."
Thornton was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. When Thornton and Chiarelli met before parting ways for the offseason, the GM's message was that he needed to take a few weeks to digest everything, and then go from there.
"It was, you know, it was nice to rehash his time, it was sad to tell him that he wasn't coming back, but I wished him well," said Chiarelli. "And Shawn was real upfront about it, so I wished him luck, and I'm sure he'll have success with his next team."
BostonBruins.com - The Stanley Cup is the only goal for the Bruins. It's the be-all and end-all of what drives them every season.
So, after a season in which that failed to happen, the entire group is rightfully unfulfilled.
But if we look back at two weeks in February during the 2013-14 season, which didn't actually involve working towards that goal, something pretty special happened for a handful of Bruins players and staff who were called upon to represent their home countries at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
That brings us to another memorable moment from the season: the Olympic Trifecta.
BostonBruins.com - As we look back at the 2013-14 season, there were many memorable on-ice moments that we can revisit. But perhaps the best memory, the one that sticks out the most, came away from the game.
On November 9, 2013, the Bruins welcomed friend Sam Berns to drop the ceremonial puck and serve as Assistant Equipment Manager for the team.
It was part of the first Progeria Awareness Night at TD Garden. Sam led the charge, as he had several times before, in raising awareness of the rare genetic condition that affected not only him, but hundreds of other children and teens. The Boston faithful chipped in with a hefty amount of donations to the Progeria Research Foundation.
That night, he was beaming in Black & Gold. Along with having his own stall and jersey in the locker room, Sam helped out on the bench during warmups and dropped the puck to a roar from the thousands of fans on hand.
Afterwards, Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara escorted him down the carpet to the bench, holding his hand every step of the way.
The best part of the night, though, didn't come from Boston's 3-1 win over Toronto in which Chara scored the game's first goal.
Over the course of the next week, BostonBruins.com will be taking a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the 2013-14 season. Make sure to follow along on the Bruins Blog.
BostonBruins.com - "IGG-Y, IGG-Y, IGG-Y." At first, the chant started low.
The chant came back when Iginla lined up alongside David Krejci on the blueline pregame. And then again before puck drop.
December 10, 2013 was just another ordinary day for many - but not for Iginla.
On this December night, the future Hall of Famer and longtime Flames captain played in Calgary for the first time since he was traded in 2013. His homecoming to the Saddledome was a highlight of the 2013-14 season for not only the Bruin, but also his teammates, the Calgary faithful, and hockey fans overall.
Every fan could appreciate what happened that night, and it was a privilege to witness, from start to finish.
BostonBruins.com - There was a time when ACL/MCL injuries were career-ending.
Luckily for Dennis Seidenberg, that time no longer exists. With improvements in surgical procedures and rehab techniques, athletes like Seidenberg can come back even stronger than before.
That's what the Bruins' defenseman has his sights on, as he continues on the road to full recovery from his season-ending ACL/MCL tear in his right knee back on December 27.
While most Bruins have traveled to their hometowns for the summer or wherever they're training, Seidenberg was still in Boston this week, and helped to present a $30,000 donation from the team's Pucks & Pups Calendar to the MSPCA, which cares for animals awaiting homes.
At the event, Seidenberg also recounted the season and gave an update on his rehab.
"I mean, it's not 100 percent, but that's expected," said the blueliner, who is five months and one week into his recovery, which was originally estimated at the six to eight months timetable.
"It would have been probably good enough to play eventually, but still working to get it where it should be, and I'm confident it will be by the time we get started."
BOSTON - On a sunny October day, Dennis Seidenberg took his dogs for a walk in Boston.
The defenseman stopped to pose with his boxer and french bulldog for a few photos. One snapshot would be chosen and featured for the month of April in the Bruins' 2014 Pucks & Pups Calendar.
"I mean, it was so easy - take your dog for a walk and get a picture taken basically and it's for a great cause, so that's even better," said a smiling Seidenberg.
The blueliner joined his teammates and Bruins' management in posing with family pets or new friends waiting for homes for the calendar. The initiative raised $30,000 for MSPCA-Angell's adoption services program, which cares for homeless animals awaiting adoption.
On June 5, Seidenberg visited the center in Boston to present the $30,000 check on behalf of the Boston Bruins Foundation.
It marked one of the largest single donations to the MSPCA's adoption centers this year.
"All of the guys are happy to be able to help out in that way and hopefully it goes a long way," said Seidenberg.
The Boston faithful have stood by their team on the ice, and also out in the community.
BostonBruins.com - Linus Arnesson officially has Black & Gold in his future.
The Bruins announced on Sunday that they signed the 19-year-old defenseman to an entry-level contract.
Arnesson was Boston's first draft selection in 2013 in New Jersey, coming with the 60th pick in the second round.
Last July, he came to Boston for the first time, joining a group of prospects at the organization's annual development camp.
What the Hanviken, Sweden native knew of Boston mostly came from movies like The Town and Good Will Hunting. What he knew of the Bruins mostly came from watching their games online, and watching Patrice Bergeron stop at nothing to play through injuries in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
Now, he'll start to develop more firsthand experiences.
"It's a big Original Six team that is very good every year and it's a great organization, so I was overwhelmed with good feelings when I found out that I was going to sign," Arnesson said over the phone from Sweden after signing.
BostonBruins.com - Chris Kelly underwent successful surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.
Now, it's recovery time, which should take about four to six weeks. He's expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
Kelly missed all of the postseason after his back seized up in Minnesota on April 8, in the Bruins' final week of the regular season.
A month and a half later, speaking with media during the Bruins' breakup day on May 16 - before he had the surgery - Kelly's back was still sore, and still had pain shooting down his leg as a result.
"But hopefully, I’ll get it fixed and it’ll be fine," Kelly had said.
Worse than that pain, was having to watch his team's final month of the season from the press box.
"I was just trying to do everything I could not to have surgery in order to play," said Kelly. "We were trying everything we could."
He never started skating before the end of the playoffs. When his teammates were on the ice, he was trying to recover. They missed his leadership, on and off the ice. He felt he could have contributed.
BostonBruins.com - On Wednesday night, it was announced that Bruins Assistant General Manager Jim Benning had been named the new general manager of the Vancouver Canucks.
With the Bruins for eight seasons, Benning has worked in scouting and management in the NHL for more than 20 years.
"Jim was a valuable member of our hockey operations staff for the past eight seasons," Bruins President Cam Neely said in a statement released by the team on Thursday. "Our organization is appreciative of the contributions he made and we wish him and his family the best in their new endeavor in Vancouver."
"Jim was a valuable member of our organization, whose experience, work ethic and hockey acumen was greatly appreciated in the course of his time here," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement. "We wish him the best of luck in his new position. Jim will have no further obligations to the Bruins effective immediately. We will look internally and externally to replace that position."