Thornton on Thomas: “I’d rather have somebody coming in with their head and heart into it”

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James Murphy of ESPN Boston recently caught up with Shawn Thornton to discuss the hottest Bruins offseason topic — Tim Thomas.

Thornton, usually good for a quote or three, didn’t disappoint as he painted a picture of Thomas’ relationship with teammates.

“I didn’t expect it,” the Bruins forward said of Thomas’ sabbatical. “I don’t talk to him on a personal level. So I wouldn’t have been privy to that information anyways.

“If he needs some personal time then I’d rather have somebody coming in with their head and heart into it than just coming in and going through the motions.”

Thornton was complimentary of Thomas’ contributions, saying “he did a lot for this organization and a lot for this city and I think that we should be thankful for that.” But his overall message seemed to echo what many Boston players — including captain Zdeno Chara — have said about Thomas’ decision:

One, it caught them off guard. Two, they hadn’t discussed it with him.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk with Timmy yet. It is tough news, but it’s important to him,” Chara said in an interview last week. “If he sits out the whole year, that’s his decision. We have to respect that.”

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Thomas’ agent says decision “didn’t have anything to do with a contract or trade”