As a reward for his outstanding play this season, General Manager Rick Dudley announced today that the Thrashers have locked up Chris Thorburn for three years. Per the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, the terms of the contract have Thorburn being paid an average salary of $867,000 a season.
The gritty forward has been seeing some time on the third line, occasionally at center. Normally he is on the wing on the line known to fans as the Greek God line, with Eric Boulton and Jim Slater centering, but Slater has been out since suffering a concussion on New Year’s Eve against the New Jersey Devils. Thorburn has seven goals and nine assists this season, and has an even +/-. Where Thorburn is most important is on the penalty kill, often sacrificing his body to make the block. Most notably he suffered a bruised knee during a game earlier this season while blocking a shot, and he remained on the ice to complete the shift, blocking several more shots.
In a year marred by inconsistencies, both with play and with personnel, Thorburn has had a consistently excellent season, and it’s good to see him rewarded with such a lengthy contract extension. Next up? Hopefully Boulton and Slater. The fourth line is the heart of the team, and deserves to remain together for a few more seasons.