Careers at stake as the lockout presses on

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When Shawn Thornton came to Boston before the 2007 season, his playing style instantly made him a fan favorite. But the 35-year-old veteran of 450 NHL games has admitted that this lockout could end his career. 

“For guys like me, I have a few years left and I’m kind of caught in the middle and squeezed out on both sides. If this goes on for a year or two then I’m probably done and I have to go back to working for a living,” Thornton told’s Joe Haggerty.

This statement comes despite Thornton recently signing a two year, $2.2 million contract before the lockout. I guess there’s only so much a body can take, especially after 15 years in the NHL and AHL.

Thornton is fine with going back to the workforce if the lockout ends his career, but it’s not what he would like.

“That’s fine. I’ve done it before. I worked in a steel factory when I was younger. But on the other side, I’d like to play out the last two years of my contract and be a little ahead after fighting 400 times over the last 15 years,” Thornton said.

Thornton isn’t alone in this feeling as several other veterans have admitted the lockout could end their careers as well.

I can’t say I’ve been at all frustrated or really looking forward to coming to the rink,” Daniel Alfredsson told the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan. “I love when I’m on the ice and I have fun, but at the same time, at this stage, I know I have to look forward as well.”

“I think the longer it’s been going here I don’t feel as eager to get back,” Alfredsson added.

Alfredsson has played 16 seasons in the NHL, all with the Ottawa Senators. And while he and Thornton haven’t decided for sure whether their careers will be over if the lockout takes out the season, Blackhawks Sean O’Donnell feels differently.

“You can say 100 percent sure that if this goes long or we miss the whole year, then my career is done,” O’Donnell told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun

If the lockout does cause the whole season to be missed, then it shouldn’t be a surprise to see many veterans call it quits and move on.



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