Mar 22, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Colton Orr (28) fights Boston Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton (22) at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Free Agency: Should The Toronto Maple Leafs Go After Shawn Thornton?

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to land a player that has been a thorn in their side for so long?

The Boston Bruins have told Shawn Thornton that he will not be returning to the team when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July 1. That means that 29 other teams will have the chance to sign one of the better fourth-liners in the NHL.

Thornton may be getting up there in age, but he has continued to be of value to the Bruins for the last few seasons and that shouldn’t change now. The only reason there letting him go seem to be cap issues.

So, what about the Maple Leafs? Back in 1997, it was the Leafs that drafted Thornton in the seventh round(190th overall). He never played a game for the Leafs bouncing around the AHL for years. He also played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks, where he won a Stanley Cup, before landing in Boston.

Could the Leafs be in need of Thornton’s services now? Even though they will be giving multiple young players a chance to make the lineup, spots on the fourth line might be better-suited to veterans. Another thing to ask, who would rather have on the fourth line? Thornton or one of Colton Orr or Frazer McLaren?

Would you like to see the Leafs target Thornton this July?

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Tags: NHL Free Agency Shawn Thornton Toronto Maple Leafs

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