Joe Thornton has been with the Sharks since the 2005-06 season and in past free agent periods, his focus was solely on staying with San Jose. However, with his team well out of playoff contention, some have wondered if the 40-year-old would be open to waiving his no-move clause to join a contender for the stretch run. Thornton told reporters, including Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News, that it’s something he has yet to consider:
I really, I need to think about that. I haven’t thought about it at all. I’m just trying to win games here and see how it goes. I’m still optimistic we can make a run at it, I really am.
While Thornton’s numbers have tapered off significantly this season (2-17-19 in 50 games), he should still be coveted by several teams looking to add to their bottom six group of forwards and at this stage, it’s likely only a matter of time before the Sharks start selling. With a $2MM contract (and no bonuses), he’ll be one of the more affordable rental players over the next month if he opts to waive his trade protection.
More from the around the league:
- Dallas is expected to get some help from the infirmary on Monday night. Mike Heika of the Stars’ team website reports (Twitter link) that center Radek Faksa and defenseman Miro Heiskanen are expected to return against Tampa Bay. Faksa has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury while Heiskanen missed their last game before the break due to a concussion.
- The Maple Leafs appear to be set to play defenseman Rasmus Sandin on Monday night despite the pending return of Jake Muzzin, notes Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston (via Twitter). That’s noteworthy as in doing so, they will officially burn the first year of his entry-level contract as it will be his tenth NHL game of the season. The next threshold for them to watch for is 40 games on the active roster as that will accrue a year of service time towards unrestricted free agency.