Thornton wants to keep fighting, Avery’s life after hockey, Marcel-Robert Trophy nominees and OHL broadcast package

Shawn Thornton sees fighting as an integral part of the game. (Dan4th Nicholas/Wikimedia Commons)

Shawn Thornton sees fighting as an integral part of the game. (Dan4th Nicholas/Wikimedia Commons)

Despite his recent concussion, Boston Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton does not want to see fighting taken away from the game according to Danny Picard of Comcast SportsNet New England. Thornton says he understands and accepts the risk involved and can’t believe he still has to answer questions about his tilt against John Scott of the Buffalo Sabres on January 31. As he told Picard:

Thornton knew exactly what he was getting into in the opening minutes of last week’s game against the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden. He understood the six-inch height difference between him and Scott. But he also understands — to this day — why he dropped the mitts off a neutral-zone face-off with the Sabres’ newly-acquired enforcer, who clearly presented a mismatch.

“Obviously with Buffalo, they brought [Scott] in probably because of our team,” said Thornton on Thursday. “It’s my job to make sure that I’m available for that, so it’s not one of our star players that has to do it. That’s part of my role. And I accept it fully.

“I wish it went differently. I knew it was going to happen, and it was better to get it out of the way early. Would you rather that, or wait until he does something stupid and I have to deal with it. It was out of the way and it was a non-factor after that, I think.”

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Love him or loathe him, likely the latter, Sean Avery was one of the most unique and entertaining characters in NHL history. Sean Leahy of Yahoo! Sports has an update on what he has been doing this past year and why he walked away from the game at 31. Among other things he has been modeling and working with Athlete Ally to help end homophobia in sports. As for why he left, he felt reeled in and restricted and that he wasn’t allowed to be himself. From Leahy:

The end of Avery’s second tenure with the New York Rangers ended with him being placed on waivers days before the 2012 Winter Classic. It was the second time the Rangers had waived him last season. Avery was a consistent healthy scratch with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL and was then left off the team’s Clear Day roster, meaning his season was done.

Even with the persona he had on the ice, Avery said he felt like he was in box and bemoaned a lack of creativity and expression while playing in the NHL.

“Why would I fight this anymore?,” he said. “First of all, it’s not healthy. Second of all, it’s not fun, no matter how much money you’re getting paid.”

Every athlete wants to leave their sport on their own terms and Avery has done that. He left the game of hockey at age 31 and is now focusing full-time on interests that he could only pursue when time allowed him during his career.

Avery recorded 90-157-247, 1,533 PIM and a plus-16 in 580 career games for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars. In 28 playoff games he posted 5-10-15 with 69 PIM and a minus-4.

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With less than six weeks remaining in the Canadian League schedule, the playoff push has started. In order to not miss any of the action, OHL Livestream is offering a new online broadcast package for the remainder of the season. To catch every game for just 40 cents, fans can purchase an All Access Pass for $74.99. There are also packages if you just want to watch you favorite team with the Team Pass going for $49.99 and an Away Pass for $24.99.

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The Quebec Major Junior League has announced its 18 finalists for the Marcel-Robert Trophy, given annually to the scholastic player of the year. All 18 players selected will receive a $400 scholarship while three finalists will receive an additional $600 and the winner an extra $1,000.

The trophy will be presented at the Golden Pucks Gala on April 3.

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