Jumbo Joe is staying in the NHL.
The San Jose Sharks have re-signed Joe Thornton to a one-year contract, the team announced Friday. As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the contract is worth $2 million.
Speculation swirled in the offseason that the 40-year-old, who became a UFA on July 1, would potentially hang up the skates after 21 NHL seasons. He didn’t reveal plans for the future after the Sharks were eliminated in the Western Conference Final, where he again missed out on the opportunity to win his first Stanley Cup.
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However, he’ll get another chance in 2019-20 when he returns to again lead San Jose.
“Words cannot equate the impact that Joe has had on this franchise since his arrival in San Jose in 2005,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a press release. “Joe is a generational player who seemingly blazes past an existing Hall-of-Famer with each game he plays. His leadership and dedication to the organization and his teammates [are] inspiring. He has the rare ability to make the players around him better and we’re excited to see him healthy and back wearing the Sharks crest.”
In 71 games last season, Thornton racked up 16 goals and 51 points and hit several career milestones, including hitting the 400-goal and 1000-assist marks. He also finished the regular season 12th in all-time games played (1,566), eighth in all-time assists (1,065) and 14th in all-time points (1,478).
The 2005-06 Hart Memorial and Art Ross Trophy winner has also won three NHL assist titles and is a six-time All-Star. He’s also been considered for the Selke numerous times throughout his career.
Overall, the Sharks need a player like Thornton on the roster; he’s a veteran presence that makes a positive impact on and off the ice, consistently put up 50-plus points and also play a solid two-way game.
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