Thornton finally breaks silence on surgery, free-agency and his future in the NHL

Jumbo drops a bomb on Sharks fans! First Marleau and now Thornton? Say it ain’t so, Joe…

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San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton met with the media today during the team’s annual locker room clean out, where he was asked about his health and his plans for the future.

Thornton sat out the entire 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs due to injury and, in fact, has not played since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in late January. The 37 year old center finished the 2017-18 campaign with 13 goals and 36 points in just 47 games.  Today, he confirmed that had both ACL and MCL tears in his right knee, the same injury he dealt with the previous season.

Thornton says he had ACL + MCL tears in his right knee, the exact same injury he dealt with in his left knee last year

Ouch. We’re definitely not doctors around here… but that sounds awfully painful. Incredibly though, Thornton is expected to make a full recovery for the 2018-19 season. 

Now the question becomes… with Thornton’s one year, $8 million deal up on July 1st, where will he sign? He’s slated to hit the open market as an unrestricted free-agent for the second offseason in a row and was hotly pursued by several teams last season, most notably by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings last summer. Ultimately, Thornton elected to re-up with the Sharks, despite seeing longtime friend and teammate Patrick Marleau sign a long-term deal with the Leafs.

This time around will Jumbo finally be tempted to leave the Bay Area? Rest easy, Sharks fans… Jumbo has no intention of leaving anytime soon. 

Joe Thornton also wants to remain w/ , said he’d be willing to sign another one year deal and take a pay cut to help to the team sign other free agents: there’s enough money to go around

Hmmm… interesting choice of words. Could Jumbo maybe be talking about re-signing forward Evander Kane who was an absolute revelation for the team down the stretch and into the playoffs? Or maybe he’s talking about New York Islanders captain John Tavares, who also happens to be slated for unrestricted free-agency. Without naming names, it’s clear that Thornton feels like he and the Sharks have at least one more kick at the can with the way they’re currently constructed. And, you know what? One look at their offensive and defensive depth and it’s hard not to agree. Add a happy and motivated Tavares to this team’s lineup and they stack up against any other roster in the NHL’s Western Conference.

One thing’s for sure, this will be an interesting offseason in San Jose.