"Today I met with Shawn. We had a good meeting, and I informed him that we wouldn't be re-signing him," Chiarelli told Caryn Switaj.
The bruising, pugilistic fourth-liner spent seven years in Boston after winning the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. Thornton, nearing his 37th birthday this July, was a crucial part of the Bruins locker room in 2011, when the club ended its 39-year championship drought. Thornton was a key component of arguably the league's best fourth line, affectionately called the Merlot Line for their burgundy practice jerseys.
"I'm sure he'll have success with his next team," Chiarelli added. Thornton's last contract with the Bruins was a two-year deal worth $2.2 million. The team's decision not to re-sign is indicative of a shift to a faster, more skilled brand of hockey that Chiarelli and team president Cam Neely hinted at earlier in the Bruins' offseason.
No. 22 was a leader in the community as well, residing in Charlestown, Mass. during his time with the team. He founded the eponymous Shawn Thornton Foundation, through which he conducted numerous philanthropic efforts in the Greater Boston Area.