Tag: Shawn Thornton

Boston Bruins v Florida Panthers

Panthers’ biggest question: Can the old guys hang on while the young guys get better?


The Florida Panthers are a bit of an odd team, in terms of their mix.

They have Jaromir Jagr, who at 43 is the oldest player in the NHL by a considerable margin. They also have a couple of 38-year-olds in Willie Mitchell and Shawn Thornton, plus a couple of 36-year-olds in Roberto Luongo and Brian Campbell.

Yet you can’t call the Panthers an old team. These aren’t the New Jersey Devils we’re talking about here.

Not with 19-year-old Aaron Ekblad, the league’s reigning rookie of the year, and 22-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau, who received the same honor in 2013.

Also, Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Brandon Pirri, Reilly Smith, Vincent Trocheck, Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson, Alex Petrovic, and Dylan Olsen. All of them under 25 years of age.

Oh, and don’t forget Lawson Crouse, the 18-year-old winger that could make the team. And Rocco Grimaldi, the 22-year-old forward who had 42 points 64 AHL games last season.

You get the point.

“We’ve got young players that are very capable of playing for us next year,” said GM Dale Tallon. “We don’t want to shut the door on that. We want those guys to get every opportunity to be on our team. I want to be the youngest team in the league and the best team in the league at the same time.”

The key next season will be for the old guys to hang on while the young guys get better. If that happens, the Panthers have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, and even making some noise once they get there.

On the other hand, if key veterans like Jagr, Campbell and Luongo start showing their age and/or the youngsters experience too many growing pains, they could stumble.

Related: Roberto Luongo is under pressure

Video: Milbury, Shawn Thornton stand up for P.K. Subban

Montreal Canadiens v Florida Panthers

The big controversy from the first day of the playoffs was Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban’s slash to the wrist of Senators forward Mark Stone. Subban was booted from the game as a result while Stone has a microfracture that might result in him missing playing time.

The Senators would have liked to see Subban suspended for his actions, but it looks like he won’t be. Meanwhile, others feel that Subban’s in-game punishment was excessive.

You can watch NBC’s Mike Milbury and Florida Panthers forward Shawn Thornton make the case for Subban below:


(Video) PHT Extra: Sens need to control their emotions after Subban slash

And regarding Thornton’s history with Subban:

Shawn Thornton isn’t a ‘fan’ of P.K. Subban ducking

Bruins’ Thornton fined for spraying Subban

Shawn Thornton joins NBC as guest analyst for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Shawn Thornton

NBC Sports Group will have a guest analyst for this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs — Florida forward Shawn Thornton, a two-time Cup winner and veteran of over 600 NHL games.

He will be part of NHL Live on Thursday and Friday.

Thornton, 37, just wrapped the first of a two-year deal with the Panthers, scoring five points in 46 games while accumulating 50 penalty minutes. The veteran tough guy had previously spent time in Chicago, Anaheim and Boston, hoisting Lord Stanley’s Mug with the Ducks in 2007 and the Bruins in 2011.

Long known as one of the league’s toughest customers, Thornton was an extremely popular figure during his seven years in Boston, appearing in the movie Ted (starring Massachusetts native Mark Wahlberg) and the music video for the Dropkick Murphy’s Going Out In Style.

On most nights of the first round, NBC Sports Group will produce two versions of NHL Live (one for NBCSN, one for USA Network/CNBC).

Farewell, Merlot: Bruins parting ways with Paille, Campbell

Carolina Hurricanes v Boston Bruins

The Merlot Line has officially been put out to vineyard.

On Monday, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced that UFA forwards Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell — who, along with the already departed Shawn Thornton, once formed Boston’s popular fourth line — wouldn’t be re-signed this summer.

Paille, 30, has been the Bruins since 2009 and achieved some good success, emerging as a useful contributor during the 2011 Stanley Cup victory and the ’13 Finals appearance (Paille scored four goals and nine points during that latter run, averaging 12:32 TOI per night.)

Campbell, 31, spent the last five years in Boston. A gritty checking forward, he forever etched himself in Bruins lore with this shift against Pittsburgh in the ’13 Eastern Conference Final — in which he played on a broken leg:

This year, though, Campbell and Paille struggled. They were two of the club’s worst forwards in terms of possession (click here) and neither produced much offensively; Campbell scored just six goals in 70 games while Paille had six in 71.

In the wake of Boston missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years, Paille and Campbell aren’t expected to be the only changes — but their departures are still significant. Aside from being the first (and, speediest) moves by Chiarelli this offseason, the two veterans contributed largely to Boston’s identity over the last five years.

Now that they’re gone, only a handful of regulars remain from the Cup-winning team: Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid and Milan Lucic — the latter of whom has already seen his name appear in trade speculation.

Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils

Jaromir Jagr Sightings In Prague

The Florida Panthers have made a big splash prior to Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr from New Jersey in exchange for in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016.

Jagr has scored 11 goals and 29 points in 57 games for the Devils this season, but recently complained about his lack of ice time and the club’s narrowing (virtually closed) window for making the playoffs. While there’s no guarantee he’ll get there with Florida, the Panthers do have a better shot — heading into tonight’s action they’re just two points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Florida will mark Jagr’s eighth NHL stop, having previously spent time in Pittsburgh, Washington, New York (Rangers), Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and New Jersey. It’s also worth pointing out that his last foray into the playoffs came during the Bruins’ run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final — and now, Jagr’s playing for a Florida team that’s chasing the B’s in the standings.

The Panthers clearly made this move with veteran playoff experience in mind. In their release, they note that Jagr is now the sixth Stanley Cup-winner on the active roster, joining Dave Bolland, Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, Willie Mitchell and Shawn Thornton.

Much will also be made of Jagr’s age, given how many youngsters Florida has in the fold. To put things in perspective, Calder Trophy candidate Aaron Ekblad, 18, was born in 1996 — the same year Jagr scored a career-high 67 goals and 149 points.

Some trade details, per ESPN: