Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Age: 37 (turns 38 on Sunday)
Previous Contract: 3 years, AAV $6.75 million
2016-17 Stat Line: 79 GP, 7-43-50; Playoffs: 4 GP, 0-2-2
Where He’ll Land
For an almost-38-year-old who tore his ACL and MCL last April, then played through the injury in four playoff games, Joe Thornton is getting a lot of love around the league as an impending free agent.
His legend is strong—a playmaker who’s second only to Jaromir Jagr in assists among active players, per QuantHockey. Thornton was also a Stanley Cup finalist just one year ago, and finished fifth in voting for both the Hart Trophy and the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2015-16, according to Hockey Reference.
Teams around the league have been burned by Thornton for years, so now they want him on their side.
Friedman lists seven teams that have talked to either Thornton or his partner in crime, Patrick Marleau, and admits “I’m on the low side” in quantifying the total interest.
Since the rival Los Angeles Kings stand out as the strongest suitors so far, that ups the ante for the Sharks to bring Thornton back. After soaking up all the attention from around the league, expect to see Jumbo Joe re-sign where he and his family are happy and comfortable, back in San Jose.