July 23, 1977|
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||217 lb (98 kg; 15 st 7 lb)|
190th overall, 1997|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Shawn Thornton (born July 23, 1977) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player of the National Hockey League (NHL). An enforcer throughout his career, he won two Stanley Cups with the Anaheim Ducks (2007) and the Boston Bruins (2011).
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.
Thornton attempted to be drafted in the 1996 NHL draft but was not selected by any team. He was then drafted into the NHL by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1997, 190th overall, Thornton never played for Toronto and was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2001–02 season. After six seasons back and forth between the NHL and AHL between the Chicago and Anaheim Ducks franchises, Thornton won his first career Stanley Cup in his final season with the Ducks in 2006–07.
On July 1, 2007, Thornton signed a three-year, 1.5 million dollar, deal with the Boston Bruins. During a seven-year tenure in Boston, Thornton won his second career Stanley Cup during the 2010–11 season in which he also tallied career high numbers in goals (10), assists (10), points (20) and +/– (8).
At the end of the 2013–14 season, the Bruins organization informed Thornton that they would not be re-signing him, ending his career in Boston. That summer, he signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers. At the end of his contract, he re-signed with Florida for one year.
On April 6, 2017, Thornton announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season and played his final game on April 8. During the announcement of his retirement, he revealed that he would be joining the Panthers' front office in a business related position after the conclusion of his playing career.
Brooks Orpik incident
On December 7, 2013, Thornton tried to goad Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik into fighting after Orpik delivered a borderline hit on Boston’s Loui Eriksson early in the first period. Orpik rebuffed Thornton’s invitation and at 11:06 of the first period, after a whistle due to Penguins winger James Neal kneeing Bruins winger Brad Marchand in the head, Thornton approached a thicket of players from both teams, slew-footed Orpik from behind and, while Orpik was on the ice, punched him at least twice. Six days later, he received his suspension after an in-person hearing with the league’s department of player safety. He appealed the suspension and had a hearing that Friday with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who did not immediately announce a decision. On December 14, 2013, Thornton was suspended for fifteen games. Thornton, who was emotional after the game, contacted Orpik directly to apologize. Orpik conveyed forgiveness and understanding. Thornton and Orpik, who are friends, were part of a group of players who had worked out together in the offseason and during the NHL lockout.
Thornton founded the Thornton Foundation in 2013, which among other things, funds research into finding cures for Parkinson's disease and cancer.
Thornton is a cousin of professional lacrosse players Zack and Bill Greer. Zack plays for the San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), while Bill has retired and works for the Seals as an assistant coach. Thornton is also the cousin of footballer Chris Brunt, who represented the Northern Ireland national team  and most recently played for Bristol City F.C. of the EFL Championship.
|1994–95||Oshawa Kiwanis AAA||OMHA||43||8||19||28||113||—||—||—||—||—|
|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|
Awards and honours
|Stanley Cup (Anaheim Ducks)||2007|
|Stanley Cup (Boston Bruins)||2011|
- "Bruins sign Shawn Thornton". Boston Bruins. 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- "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.
- Richards, George (April 6, 2017). "It's last call for Shawn Thornton as final NHL games beckon". Miami Herald. Miami Herald. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- "Penguins' Orpik shows forgiveness to Thornton".
- "Brooks Orpik: Apologetic Shawn Thornton 'A Pretty Good Friend'". 2013-12-20.
- "Shawn Thornton Foundation". The Shawn Thornton Foundation. 2016-09-14. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- "San Diego Seals Name Josh Sanderson and Bill Greer Assistant Coaches". Inside Lacrosse. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- "Brunt retires from Northern Ireland duty". BBC Sport.
- Hanna, Gareth. "Chris Brunt released by Bristol City as injury woe threatens to end ex-Northern Ireland star's career". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
- Bruno, Amanda (3 July 2012). "Boston Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton makes cameo appearance in movie 'Ted'". MassLive Media. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Shawn Thornton". IMDb.