Apr 12, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Shawn Thornton (22) looks to get around Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (10) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Thornton avoided 'tough decision' in leaving Boston Bruins

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Shawn Thornton didn’t want to leave Boston, and after his playing career in the NHL is over, he plans to return to the city. For now though, the tough forward is relieved he didn’t have to make a tough decision this summer. The team made it easier on Thornton when they didn’t ask him to take a pay cut to stay in the city he loves.

“[Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said] ‘I’m very loyal to you and a few other guys…and I’m gonna have to weigh my loyalty versus what I think is best for the organization in the next few years,” Thornton said Tuesday in a radio interview on the Sports Hub.

“You’d have to ask him,” Thornton continued, “but for them to offer me a contract, it probably would have been a lot lower than what I was going to get elsewhere, too. To be completely honest, if I wasn’t going to come back and if it was going to be a lowball offer to try and take a hometown discount, it would have been a very difficult decision. They probably did me a favor by letting me go a little bit early. I’ve got a couple of years left and this will always be home. So I’ll go make some money and hopefully help Florida and then come back and settle down here (in Boston).”

Thornton signed a two year deal with the Florida Panthers worth a total of $2.4 million, which is clearly more than the Bruins can afford given how close they stand to the salary cap ceiling.

At least now a fan favorite in Boston can reassure his most loyal supporters that, like many others before him, he’s just going to take a couple of years off in Florida before coming home.

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Tags: Boston Bruins