BOSTON (CBS) — Shawn Thornton played professional hockey for a full decade, bouncing back and forth between the AHL and NHL, before finding his perfect fit on the Boston Bruins.

Since 2007, Thornton’s endeared himself to fans with his tough-as-nails play on the ice, his legendary bare-fisted brawls and his brash no-nonsense demeanor. There’s nobody tougher than Thornton, and that’s something Boston fans have always appreciated.

Alas, all good things come to an end, and Thornton is entering the final year of his contract. He’ll be a 37-year-old free agent next summer, and in a sport where no player’s spot is ever guaranteed, it’s a very real possibility that Thornton’s impressive NHL career with the Bruins could be over after next season.

But don’t let that make you think Thornton’s too worried about it.

“I’m going to play until they rip the skates off me and tell me I can’t anymore,” Thornton said this week at his charity golf tournament, according to ESPN. “I’m aware of how old I am, but I definitely don’t feel it.”

Considering all we know about Thornton, that message sounds about right.

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