Bruins’ Thornton: I won’t retire ‘until they rip the skates off of me’

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When Boston Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton’s current contract expires next summer, he’ll be 37. Thornton told CSNNE.com that he won’t be riding off into the sunset if he has it his way, though.

“I’m going to play until they rip the skates off of me, and tell me that I can’t anymore,” Thornton said on Monday. “I’m aware of how old I am, but I definitely don’t feel it. I’ve been fairly consistent over the last few years, I think. People probably have varying opinions about that, but I’ll continue to do everything I can do to show up in good shape.”

(Don’t feel bad if you picture someone trying to literally rip Thornton’s skates off. Bonus points if you imagine Thornton sticking his feet up in the air to aid the process, much like a small child would.)

While Thornton has bounced around the NHL, he’s only had one significant run of games that didn’t come in a Boston Bruins uniform (He played 48 games for Anaheim in 2006-07 before becoming a regular with the B’s in 2007-08).

For a player with limited skills like Thornton, approaching the 500 regular season games played mark is a nice accomplishment, but he’s clearly hungry for more.