NHL notes: Shawn Thornton worried lockout will end career
|Bruins forward Shawn Thornton fights with Devils forward Cam Janssen at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Jan. 4, 2012. (RAY STUBBLEBINE/Reuters)
A career-threatening injury is one thing.
But a career-threatening lockout? Boston Bruins fourth-line forward Shawn Thornton thinks it could be for him.
"For guys like me I have a few years left and I'm kind of caught in the middle and squeezed out on both sides," Thornton told the WAAF Hillman Morning Show. "If this goes on for a year or two then I'm probably done and I have to go back to working for a living. That's fine. I've done it before. I worked in a steel factory when I was younger.
"But on the other side I'd like to play out the last two years of my contract and be a little bit ahead after fighting 400 times over the last 15 years."
Thornton, 35, signed a two-year, $2.2 million contract with the Bruins in the off-season. He previously referred to the deal his "nest egg" and would like to start earning some of the money he's due.
"Financially, I've made some pretty good money the last couple of years," he said. "So I'm not hurting, but I'm definitely concerned that I don't have any paychecks coming in at this point."
Maybe Jeremy Roenick is an eternal optimist.
But the retired NHLer is holding out hope that a new collective bargaining agreement will be signed and the lockout ended before Christmas. Yeah, and Santa Claus really is coming.
"I'm still holding hope that sensibility is going to come of the owners and the players," Roenick told Sportsnet 590. "If all they're really worried about right now is whether to honour the current contracts or not, you would think they should be close to a deal. They're both willing to go to 50-50 and there's a discrepancy on how long it takes to get there.
"Owners want it right now and players want it in two and a half to three years. You wouldn't think it's going to take too long to get it done."
SENS OWNER SYMPATHIZES
It would be among his worst nightmares, of course, but if hockey fans lose interest in the game as a result of the NHL lockout, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk won't be able to blame them.
He knows the feeling.
Speaking on Sportsnet 590 Wednesday, Melnyk harkened back to the 1994 Major League Baseball season that ended in August because of a players' strike. At the time, Melnyk said he was going to 40-45 games a season when he still lived in Toronto.
"I was like a crazy, crazy baseball fan," he said. "And after the strike, I was gone."
Melnyk still has his keen interest in his horses -- he owns the favourite, Bridgetown, in the Breeders' Cup $1-million turf sprint Saturday at Santa Anita in suburban Los Angeles -- while living in baseball country (Arizona) and trying to get his hockey fix.
He said he follows the AHL's Binghamton Senators and watches the ECHL.
"I've got five players on the Elmira Jackals (under Senators contracts)," he said, referring to the club's affiliate. "I bought the season package to watch (their games) on my computer.
"They jacked up the prices, five-fold, during the lockout," Melnyk added with a laugh.
Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown is heading to Zurich to play in the Swiss league.
The right winger, who turns 28 Sunday, has signed to play with the reigning Swiss champions, ZSC Lions, his agent, Scott Norton, told ESPN.com Thursday.
Brown will head to Zurich next week and play his first game Nov. 13 after the Swiss teams return from a break.
Brown had 22 goals and 32 assists for the Stanley Cup-champion Kings last season.
Marc Crawford, a former Kings coach, is behind the bench for ZSC.
Earlier this week, the general manager for Vityaz Chekhov of the KHL, Alexey Zhamnov, indicated that he was close to signing Brown.
Former players from the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators will play a charity game in Tennessee next week to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
According to the Predators, their alumni team will include J.P. Dumont, Stu Grimson, Lane Lambert and Dan Keczmer while Kelly Chase, Tyson Nash, Darren Pang, Bob Plager and Jeff Brown will suit up for the Blues alumni.
The game, the last charity matchup to be held during the NHL lockout, is set for Nov. 10 in Franklin, Tenn.