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Shawn Thornton's a Thorn in Opponents' Sides

Thursday, 07.5.2007 / 2:34 PM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Shawn Thornton\'s a Thorn in Opponents\' Sides
John Bishop is the beat writer for BostonBruins.com. He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.

Happy belated Fourth of July, True Believers!

And to those of you above the border -- I hope your Canada Day went well and that if you moved residences you are now safely ensconced in your new abode.

It's been a slow day thus far at the TD Banknorth Garden, but I had a terrific lunch across Causeway Street at The Fours and am ready to peruse my recorder for some B's tidbits for you.

This space has been remiss in not relaying some of the GM Peter Chiarelli's very encouraging words about Shawn Thornton.

Thornton signed with Boston Sunday afternoon and during a conference call, Chiarelli had a great deal of praise for the big winger.

"He's a thick, physical player," said the GM. "He's earned everything he's gotten."

What he's gotten is a regular job in the NHL and, as a member of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks last season, a Stanley Cup ring.

Toronto's seventh round choice (190th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Thornton has worked, and fought, his way into the show.

"He's actually improved year to year," said Chiarelli. "He's strong and heavy on the puck.

"He'll defend his teammates (and) a very good forechecker.

"And he's going to add to our size," he said.

Chiarelli, as promised, has endeavored to increase the "sandpaper" quotient inherent in his squad.

"I'm trying to strive and get some vigorous (players)," he said, "and he is going to help us in that regard. (His work in the playoffs) impressed us."

But Chiarelli and the Bruins have thought highly of Thornton for quite a while.

"We actually tried to get him at the trade deadline, but (his work for Anaheim) certainly impressed us," said Chiarelli. "Actually, it confirmed what we thought."

However, his showing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs did worry the Bruins brass, somewhat.

He was too good.

"I'd hoped that he wouldn't play as well," joked Chiarelli with a chuckle before admitting that he thought  "someone else would've went out and signed him (already)."

No doubt B's fans, hungry for a fist first fellow to follow, will certainly enjoy what Thornton brings to the Garden ice this fall.

More later...

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