For the last few years the Bruins have actively tried to lock down key players before they reach free agency. It's been a refreshing departure from the old ways of the Bruins' front office. The B's extended Shawn Thornton's contract for 2 years, keeping the enforcer in black and gold until the 2013-14 season. The deal is worth $2.2 million.
$1.1 million a year is a good price for a guy like Thornton. He leads the NHL with 19 fighting majors this season, but he's not just a pugilist. He's a great fighter with his gloves off and a solid player with them on. He plays on a line that energizes the rest of the team, he plays smart yet physical, and he contributes positively in his 9:07 of ice time per game. He even scored 10 goals last year.
The Bruins were 13-5 in the playoffs when Thornton dressed. 3-4 when he didn't. He's known for his fists, but he also has two rings on those fists, and he does more than fight to earn them.