Thornton Gets Two

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shawn thornton new contract

And Kathryn Tappen gets the scoop.

According to her post on NESN.com, rugged Bruins winger Shawn Thornton has got his wish to remain in Boston and signed a contract for a reported two more years. The 32 year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent but had not been shy about publicly expressing his desire to remain in Black and Gold.

It’s a good resigning, not just because of the toughness factor Thornton brings to the table and the fact that he is one of the more intelligent and honorable scrappers in the league. He also showed, throughout all the turmoil on the team during the 2009-10 season, that he was one of the few guys on the team you could rely on for consistent leadership, on and off the ice. His is the sort of character the Bruins need more of. Add in some reasonable talent, for his role, decent defensive sensibilities and this one was a no-brainer.

The remaining five B’s unrestricted free agents are as follows, with age and last year’s salary included.

    Mark Recchi, 42, $1,000,000

    Miroslav Satan, 35, $700,000

    Steve Begin, 31, $850,000

    Dennis Seidenberg, 28, $2,250,000

    Johnny Boychuk, 26, $500,000

I think the focus here has to be on the two defensemen, if they can be had at reasonable prices. The danger is that a guy like Boychuk, who showed dramatic improvement in his all around game this season and into the playoffs, will draw some serious attention around the league because of his age. Seidenberg, as well, will not be cheap but he was a steadying influence on the blue line playing with Zdeno Chara when he came on board at the trade deadline and the vibe is that Chiarelli wants him back.

It’s not going to be easy considering the fact that the Bruins have an estimated $10 million to spend under the cap and some restricted free agents like Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler, Vladimir Sobotka and Daniel Paille to sign. They remain saddled with some fairly hefty contracts like those of Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm and Tim Thomas and likely few trading partners for said contracts thanks to the age, health and performance of those players.

As a result, there will be some tough choices to be made and any way you slice it as things will be extremely tight. They desperately need help on the wing and are not likely to have much bank available for free agent signings. I’m not sure bringing back Recchi or Satan at this point in their careers is a great option, as much as I enjoyed what they did in the post-season. However, that level of pay, under $1 million, is likely the range the Bruins will be shopping in for help at forward and I’m just not sure what other serviceable help might be out there at those prices.

All in all, it makes the upcoming entry draft all that more crucial.

We want Hall.

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