Shawn Thornton

Shawn Thornton on MFB: '[Boston] is still home and I love it here'

July 13, 2015 - 8:51 am

Former Bruin and current Panthers forward Shawn Thornton joined Middays with MFB on Monday from the Red Sox Foundation charity golf tournament at Belmont Country Club to discuss his time with the B's and his opinion on the NHL's new rules on fighting. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page. Thornton discussed how the Bruins fan base motivated him and why he continues to call Boston home. "I love the passion," Thornton said. "I've always tried to self-motivate. If you're a professional, you should show up to work either way. I didn't miss the winter, I miss the fans, I miss the city and I'm back here for the summer. ... This is still home and I love it here." When asked about the tendency of teams in the NHL to move toward smaller, skilled lineups as opposed to the roster construction of the Big Bad Bruins, Thornton maintained his faith in the success of physical teams. "I don't really pay attention to a lot of what's said," Thornton said, "but I saw, I think it was somebody in LA, the assistant GM or something, people were asking him sort of the same type of question, I think. ... He said, 'We take a step back and look, are we a team that made the playoffs this year or are we a team that's contended in the last five years? And we've answered yourself as being closer to a team that's contended in the last five years.' They brought in [Milan Lucic], they kind of still play the big, bad -- I mean, when you play against LA, you're in one. It's physical, they keep coming and coming and coming. And they went to the finals whatever, four times, however many times. "Listen, we in Boston lost to Montreal and it was Armageddon, and people said, 'You can't win running people over anymore, you've got to be small and skilled.' They forgot, LA won that year with the biggest, baddest team in the league. But it all got forgotten because we lost." Thornton continued to laud the Kings' model, comparing it to his Panthers squad. "In Florida, we have a skilled team, but we have a pretty big team," Thornton said. "We play a physical style and it works for us, it works for LA. I still think that's the way you have to play playoff hockey when it comes down to it. ... Each organization's going to go their own way, but I kind of like where LA is, they're like, 'Let's not blow everything up, it's working. Let's keep running people over.' " Thornton also commented on the NHL's new fighting rules, which limited his enforcer duties last year with the Panthers. "I'd love to say that [the role of enforcer is] still there," Thornton said. "I had six fights last year and it's impossible some nights to find them. You have to be able to play nowadays to stay in the game. There's not too many guys that are one-dimensional. ... I remember me and Chris Neil got in a fight this year and my helmet came off three seconds in and they broke it up, and we were both irate. For Florida, it's the first time we've had 14,000 people in here and everyone's standing up and now they're booing."