July 23, 1977 |
Oshawa, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||217 lb (98 kg; 15 st 7 lb)|
|NHL Draft||190th overall, 1997
Toronto Maple Leafs
Thornton played minor hockey for his hometown Oshawa Minor Generals of the OMHA's Eastern AAA League. He was drafted in the 9th round (145th overall) by the Peterborough Petes in the 1995 OHL Priority Selection. It was his second year attempting to be drafted into the OHL, as no team was interested in him during the 1994 draft.
He was then drafted into the NHL by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1997, 190th overall, but was traded to the Anaheim Ducks during the 2001-02 season. During the 2006-2007 season, Thornton spent half of the season in the AHL and half in the NHL; the Ducks won the Stanley Cup during that season.
With the Bruins, Thornton was mostly known for fighting other players. Thornton was even involved in the first fight in the history of the Winter Classic with Philadelphia Flyers Daniel Carcillo on January 1, 2010 at Boston's Fenway Park.
During the 2011 Stanley Cup run, Thornton was a healthy scratch for much of the series. On June 15, 2011, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
On December 7, 2013, Thornton attacked Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik from behind during a stoppage of play minutes after a hit on Thornton's team mate, Loui Eriksson. Thornton punched Orpik several times in the head. Thornton continued to punch Orpik in the head as he fell to the ice and even continued to punch him as he lay unconscious on the ice. Orpik sustained a serious concussion and missed several games as a result.  On December 14, 2013, Thornton was suspended for fifteen games for "punching and injuring an unsuspecting player." It was the longest suspension given to a player for injuring another player in the season. Thornton attempted to appeal the suspension, but the NHL later rejected the appeal.
Less than one year later, on June 16, 2014, it was announced by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli that Thornton and the Bruins would part ways and he would not be re-signed. Soon after, during free agency, Thornton agreed to a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2014, a team which had the second to worst record in the NHL during that season.
|1997–98||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||59||0||3||3||225||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||78||8||11||19||354||5||0||0||0||9|
|1999–00||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||60||4||12||16||316||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||79||5||12||17||320||3||1||2||3||2|
- "Bruins sign enforcer Shawn Thornton". Boston Bruins. 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- "Thornton, Carcillo record first fight at Winter Classic". ESPN. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- "Thornton-Orpic attack". Boston.com. 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
- Klein, Jeff (2013-12-15). "Breaking the code of justice". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- "Bruins announce Thornton not returning". National Hockey League. 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
- "Florida Panthers active on day one of free agency". Florida Panthers. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
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