Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins report card: Shawn Thornton

The Boston Bruins fourth line, also known as the merlot line, has for the most part served it’s purpose over the years. In 2013-2014, that was no different. The trio provides the club with a jolt of energy when their line was called upon.

Shawn Thornton may not play a prominent role on the team, but he does serve an important one. Quality enforcers are hard to come by, but Thornton is one of the best around.

Thornton never shies away from confrontation and stands up for himself regularly. Additionally, he’s well respected in the dressing room because he always comes to the aid of his teammates. The veteran leadership he provides goes a long way as well.

But when it comes to offensive production, Thornton obviously falls short. Though that’s alright because he works hard each and every shift, battling and grinding it out with the opposition. His style fits the Bruins system.

While Thornton adequately served his purpose this past season, the 15-game suspension he served leaves a blemish when looking back. The league sidelined him following the sucker punch he threw at Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik.

But that’s Thornton for you. We all know the passion and fire he plays with. He takes great pride in dawning the black-and-gold. Character goes great distances in the NHL and he certainly has it.

With that said, the Bruins must strongly consider re-signing him. Boston’s ability to roll four lines in the past has worked to success. Many feel it’s time to cut ties with Thornton. If the club can lock him up for a reasonable price, he’s a guy worth bringing back into the mix. Let’s not forget Claude Julien is a big supporter of his.

Final Grade: C-

Tags: Boston Bruins Shawn Thornton

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