Forget hanging them up. Shawn Thornton ended his NHL career in his own unique fashion.
The Florida Panthers forward played in his final NHL game Saturday, a 3-0 home win over the Buffalo Sabres. It was an emotional night for Thornton, who received a rousing ovation from the BB&T Center crowd and his teammates as he was introduced before the game.
But the former Boston Bruins fan favorite saved his best moment for last. Thornton reportedly planned on throwing his skates in the trash following his last NHL game, and he followed through on that symbolic gesture Saturday.
“I promised (the equipment guy) I’d throw my skates in the garbage so he wouldn’t have to deal with them,” Thornton explained after the game, via The Sun Sentinel. “It’s starting to sink in a little bit right now. It’s weird.”
It’s a fitting way for the 39-year-old to end an impressive hockey career that included 14 years of NHL service — half of which came with the Bruins from 2007 to 2014 — and Stanley Cup titles with Anaheim in 2007 and Boston in 2011.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images