Shawn Thornton Reflecting on a Career as an Enforcer

The Globe carried an article recently about a Sports Illustrated article about Shawn Thornton’s retirement, one of those spiritual brothers of William Murphy of my novel, Trip to the Quiet Room.

“I’m just enjoying the thought that I’m never going to have to get punched in the face ever again for the rest of my life.”

Hang ’em up

Guys like Shawn, PJ Stock, Bobby Robins, Georges Laraque were all models for Will: those bruisers who made their living on the ice with their fists and all the attendant worries and dangers. But every single one of those guys, off ice, have drawn rave reviews for their treatment of the fans and local charities where they play. I think, as people, as characters, they’re a fascinating group. Will, of course, toiled mostly at a level below where these guys did, which makes him even more torn on his retirement (Will didn’t win two Stanley Cups like Shawn, barely got more than a cup of coffee and a concussion in the NHL).

I just hope, for Thornton’s sake, that his wife doesn’t happen to be a plumber, working on a prospective time machine in their home bathtub…