Chris Thorburn is everything you want in a depth player. He works hard on and off the ice, understands his role and takes pride in it, has a positive attitude, is loved by his teammates, loves the city, and wants nothing more than to see the Thrashers succeed.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that Thrashers management wanted to sign him to an extension- something they accomplished today with a new multi-year deal for the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native. Every team needs solid, versatile depth players and Thorburn is one of the most respected you’ll find. He’s been with the team since June 22, 2007, tying him with Toby Enstrom for the third-longest tenured Thrasher behind Eric Boulton and Jim Slater. In his four seasons in Atlanta Thorburn has amassed 23 goals, 39 points, and 336 PIMs. That PIM total puts him seventh all-time among Thrashers and by the time his new deal (which is for three years according to the AJC) expires he should be in the top five in that category, if not higher. His next goal this season will set a new career high in that stat and he’s two points away from tying his career best in points. He’s thriving under Craig Ramsay and by keeping him around the Thrashers have a known entity on the third or fourth line who cares deeply about being here.
Capable of playing all three forward positions, on the PK, and on the PP as needed Thorburn is one of the most versatile Thrashers forwards. He can score, hit, block shots, and fight as needed, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. Always willing to talk to the media after a win or loss he’s become a go-to guy in the locker room, and keeping him around for an extended period of time can only mean good things for this franchise.
Whether it’s this year or another, when the Thrashers return to the playoffs you’ll be hard-pressed to find many players that it will mean as much to as it will to Thorburn. It’s great to see the team commit to him for the long haul so he can help make that dream happen.