The San Jose Sharks have plenty of tough decisions this summer when it comes to unrestricted free agents, but one of the most interesting will be regarding Joe Thornton. The veteran forward will turn 40 the day after free agency opens but is coming off another solid season with 16 goals and 51 points. Thornton spoke to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic today at the season-ending media availability, and told him that he hadn’t made a decision on his future yet but would only play in San Jose if he does continue his career.
The 39-year old now has 1,478 points in 1,566 games during his long NHL career, but hasn’t been able to lift the Stanley Cup a single time. After two major knee injuries and another disappointing finish, who knows whether he wants to suit it up again in 2019-20. Scheduled to become a UFA, Thornton was operating this season on a one-year, $5MM deal.
- Meanwhile, Joe Pavelski is also an unrestricted free agent this summer but is “pretty confident” he’ll be back, according to Kurz. Amazingly, Pavelski had hand surgery two weeks ago but continued to suit up in the playoffs despite that and several other serious injuries. The 34-year old captain of the Sharks had an outstanding season with 38 goals, and was the heart and soul of the team once again in the postseason.
- Jake Chelios won’t be re-signing with the Detroit Red Wings, as he has accepted a two-year contract in the KHL. Chelios is headed to China to play for Kunlun Red Star after making his NHL debut earlier this season. The son of legendary defenseman Chris Chelios, Jake played four seasons at Michigan State University before suiting up in the AHL for the last five years.