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Shawn Thornton signs with Panthers

Right wing Shawn Thornton played seven seasons for the Bruins.

The Boston Globe

Right wing Shawn Thornton played seven seasons for the Bruins.

Free agency opened in the NHL at noon on Tuesday, and while the Bruins were expected to have a rather quiet day, most of the rest of the league did not. There was a flurry of deals after the signing period opened, and a few now-former Bruins got new contracts elsewhere.

The Bruins lost their first free agent early in the signing period on Tuesday, with former backup goalie Chad Johnson signing a two-year, $2.6 million deal with the Islanders. Boston had signed Niklas Svedberg to a one-year, one-way deal last week, making Johnson’s departure official.

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They lost their second shortly thereafter, with Shawn Thornton signing a two-year deal with the Florida Panthers. The enforcer had been cut loose by the Bruins two weeks ago, with general manager Peter Chiarelli announcing that he would not sign the fourth-line right wing, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Thornton had made clear Florida was one of his top targets, and that he was looking for a two-year deal to likely finish out his career.

Follow Amalie Benjamin on Twitter at @amaliebenjamin.
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