Player evaluation: Thornton



This season: 47 games, 5 goals, 3 assists, plus-1 rating

Positives: When healthy, Thornton was a responsible two-way player, capable of providing gritty play. At times, could be one of the few players with the desire to mix it up a little bit. A respected locker-room leader, Thornton never expressed frustration at his situation, which included injuries and limited ice time.

Negatives: Injuries took their toll on Thornton, along with the general complications of being a 37-year-old player. Never the fastest player, Thornton had slowed down considerably and, at his best, had become a fourth-line winger by the end.

Looking ahead: Those looking for Thornton in September will have to search bike trails. Thornton, who is a cycling enthusiast, has said he is almost certain he will retire after 17 NHL seasons.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

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  • anthony

    Nice guy, good teammate, but a terrible player for the Kings organization.

    Maybe he was a beast with the Sharks, but I can’t think of any contributions he made on the ice this season.

    I’m very happy to see him gone.

  • Marc Nathan

    depending on his career aspirations, he’s the kind of guy who was merely getting adjusted to wearing a suit when he was a healthy scratch. Now, a suit may suit him just fine as an assistant coach in juniors, or the minor leagues as he works his way up to a job as an NHL coach down the road. Wouldn’t be the worst thing he could do with his life.

  • Eric K

    agreed. i agree he wasn’t quite right for the kings, but it was nice to have a guy who was a presence in the locker room and a hard-nosed guy on the ice. i think he picked the right time to leave; he’ll do well as a coach in the future.

  • Jon G

    This is a rare case in which I disagree with Rich’s assessment. While he Thornton was willing to play the body, he was too slow to make an impact with his checks. For a 6’4″ grinder, he played a pretty quiet game.

    You can blame this season on injuries, but I didn’t see much more from him last year.

    He sounds like a great teammate and he always gave an honest effort, but I don’t think he added much at either end of the rink.

  • Dan H.

    As was said above. Good guy, just wrong fit. I never saw why you make a guy an assistant captain if you’re going to sit him in the stands as a healthy scratch for 1/2 of the games.

    sign him on as a coach. Lord Knows the Kings have 3x more coaches than any other team in the league. Maybe too many fingers in the pie.