Thornton has retired from professional hockey and joined the Panthers' executive staff as the vice president of business operations. Thornton will take his talents from the penalty box to the luxury box, as he will strive to build the Florida franchise for the next generation. The 12-year veteran finishes his career with just 102 points in 705 games, but that's because his career was never truly focused on scoring -- Thornton will be remembered for his punishing style of play that cleared the way for his teammates, for which he received an astounding 1,103 penalty minutes.
Thornton announced Thursday that he intends to retire at the end of this season, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. Thornton will skip the Panthers' last contest, so he'll play his final NHL game in the team's penultimate tilt Saturday against the Sabres. If the plan holds, he'll finish with 705 career NHL games. While he's only contributed four points over 48 contests and has topped 20 points just once over the course of his long career, the big man thrived in his role as an enforcer. His biggest output came in 2011-12, when he racked up 154 penalty minutes and 91 hits. The 39-year-old will reportedly transition to a front-office role with the Panthers.
Thornton scored a second-period goal during Thursday's win over Arizona. The tally snapped a 12-game point drought and was just the fourth point of the season for the veteran winger. His 60 penalty minutes still move the needle, but otherwise, Thornton offers absolutely no fantasy value and is best ignored in all settings.
Thornton has only dressed for 15 games this year, contributing a single assist along the way. The 37-year-old enforcer has never been known for his offense (99 points in 670 career games), but it's worth noting that he's only recorded seven PIM this year. Thornton used to be known for his pugilistic contributions and maintained value in some settings due to his time spent in the sin bin (1043 career PIM), but with such a lack in playing time, there's nothing left here to latch onto for fantasy purposes.
Thornton collected an assist in Saturday's 2-1 shootout win over the Blue Jackets. The veteran pugilist recorded his first point of the season in what was his fourth appearance of 2016-17. Thornton rarely plays thanks to his frequent banishment to the press box as a healthy scratch, making him about as irrelevant a player as any for fantasy purposes.
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