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Thornton: ‘I wanted to be a Bruin as long as possible’

06.04.10 at 2:37 pm ET
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Speaking with the media Friday afternoon in a conference call, newly re-upped Bruins forward Shawn Thornton and general manager Peter Chiarelli hit on what led to the tough winger’s two-year extension.

“I wanted to be a Bruin as long as possible,” Thornton said. I love the city, I love being here and I’m still here so I’m really happy to be back and I’m glad we could make it happen.”

With the team just three weeks away from adding a wunderkind prospect in the NHL draft, Chiarelli spoke of what it means to retain a key veteran when seeing an influx of youth.

“It’s important to have any good veteran to help out with the younger guys,” Chiarelli said. “Shawn’s career path has not been the easiest and he commands a level of respect for that reason. … He’s put in his time and he’s put in his work and he’s been rewarded for it.”

Chiarelli also spoke of the team’s ongoing plan of adding players that are “tough to play against.” He once again mentioned the trade market as a means for continuing to build such a squad but also maintained that Thornton, who he referred to as “a terrific soldier” who is “always among the leaders in fisticuffs,” fits the bill.
When asked whether the disappointing second-round exit in seven games to the Flyers has added any determination entering next season, Thornton was a bit slow to answer, almost confused by the notion.
“I like to think I’m always kind of starving,” Thornton said. “[The series] left a bad taste in my mouth but I try to come in and prepare the same way every year.”
Thornton finished fifth in the NHL this past season with 21 fighting majors. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and Chiarelli and the Bruins felt confident all along that a deal would be reached before he could hit the market.
“It was something that we wanted to do and we’ve talked about it for a while with Shawn and his group,” Chiarelli said, later adding, “We knew we would get it done beforehand.

“It was a good decision that we made, it was a relatively easy decision that we made and we’re happy to have him back.”

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