BOSTON (CBS) – Normally at this time of the year, Shawn Thornton would be roaming the ice making sure no one steps out of line against his Boston Bruins teammates.

But the NHL is still in a lockout, giving Thornton and his NHL counterparts plenty of free time this winter.
So on Wednesday night, Thornton helped the Boston Pops kick off their holiday season by reading “Twas The Night Before Christmas” at Symphony Hall.

“I figured it was an honor, so I couldn’t turn this down,” Thornton said of reading the famous Christmas tale.

Thornton said he prepared all day, and even did a little boxing to relax his nerves. It was an experience unlike any he’s had before, and proved to be a little tougher than some of his on-ice throwdowns.

But it was a good way for Thornton to take his mind off the lockout, which entered it’s 82nd day on Thursday. Reports out of New York are that talks with the owners and players are going well, and many feel a deal could be done by the weekend.

“Talks were very cordial and things were moving along better than they had been in the past,” Thornton said of the progress he’s heard out of New York. “Lets hope it gets done sooner rather than later. We”re running out of time, so the push is on.”

Thornton On Lockout: 

But Thornton is trying to curb his enthusiasm until a deal is official.

“I wont be happy until the signatures are on the paper and we’re back to work,” he said. “I guess the word of the month have been ‘cautiously optimistic,’ and I’d say that’s where I am too.”

But when hockey does return, Thornton will be ready.

“I’m probably in better shape than I usually am at the start of the season; I’ve had an extra four months to work out,” Thornton joked. “I’m probably in top shape.”


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