By David Dwork

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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers have a busy offseason ahead as the search for a new head coach continues.

On Thursday the Panthers announced a lesser front office move that will have many of their fans smiling.

Florida has named recently retired forward Shawn Thornton the Vice President of Business Operations.

Thornton will work closely with President and CEO Matthew Caldwell and Chief of Staff Sean McCaffrey.

“Shawn’s work ethic, enthusiasm and passion for the Panthers organization is second to none,” said Caldwell. “We are thrilled to welcome him to our executive team and know that he will bring the same level of professionalism, experience and leadership to the business side of our organization as he did in the locker room.”

Thornton, 39, played in his final NHL game as a member of the Panthers on April 8, 2017, vs. the Buffalo Sabres.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion (2007, 2011), Thornton appeared in 705 NHL games with the Panthers (2014-17), Boston Bruins (2007-14), Anaheim Ducks (2006-07) and Chicago Blackhawks (2002-06) recording 102 points (42-60-102).

During his time with the Panthers, Thornton became the only player in professional hockey history to begin his career after expansion and play in over 700 NHL games and 600 American Hockey League games.

He is the only player this century to record 10 fights, score 10 goals and win the Stanley Cup in the same season.

“It’s a humbling day for me and I’m excited to begin the next chapter of my career in hockey,” said Thornton. “The business side of operating an NHL team has always fascinated me. I have had the privilege of learning from and working with a number of first-class individuals, leaders and organizations during the course of my playing career and I look forward to applying some of those lessons in my new role. My family and I are very grateful that we’ll be able to continue to be a part of the Panthers family and the South Florida community.”

Thornton founded the Shawn Thornton Foundation and serves as the Foundation’s President and Director.

The Shawn Thornton Foundation is dedicated to helping find cures for diseases close to Shawn’s heart, specifically Parkinson’s and cancer.

Through his foundation, Thornton holds an annual ‘Pucks and Punches for Parkinson’s’ golf event and does charitable work throughout Boston and South Florida.


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