It’s sounding increasingly likely that the San Jose Sharks are going to have Joe Thornton back in their lineup for the 2019-20 season.
Jumbo Joe told reporters at the NHL Awards show in June that he would be returning for another year, according to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic.
Kurz, who’s been covering the Sharks since 2011, backs up the veteran forward’s claim with his own insight on the matter.
“Make no mistake, Thornton is not going anywhere and will re-sign with the Sharks at some point in the near future. Of that there is no doubt.”
Thornton, 40, proved last season that he can still be a valuable contributor in the NHL. In 73 games, he tallied 16 goals and 51 points, while also notching 10 points in 19 playoff matches.
However, at this stage of his career, it appears what he brings to the club off the ice is most important.
“He has the invaluable assets that you need in any dressing room. When he walks in, he demands respect, he creates a fun atmosphere and fun environment, I couldn't imagine playing on a team without Jumbo,” Sharks forward Logan Couture told Dave McCarthy of NHL.com. “My mind just can't work that out, not having Joe around, because it's been 10 years with him and it's been so much fun.”
Couture also sounded confident his longtime teammate would be returning to the squad.
“I talked to Joe a month ago and asked him what was going on and he said, 'Oh don't worry about it,' so I took that as he'll be back,” Couture noted. “I just kind of figure it's going to happen, he's still got time, I'm sure he'll be back with the Sharks.”
San Jose has more than $4.5 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly. That should be more than enough to bring back the 21-year pro for another run.
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