San Jose Sharks veteran center Joe Thornton has been quite tight-lipped about whether he has any interest in being traded to a contender. However, with just two days left, Thornton admitted to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz (subscription required) that he is tempted to join a contending team, although the 40-year-old forward also made it clear in the interview that his career is not over yet.
“You know, it is,” Thornton said, when asked whether he is tempted to go to a contender. “But it’s not like I feel like this is my last year. I feel like I’m healthy, I feel like I still have a lot in the tank left. It’s not like a last-hurrah-type thing. I feel good, and my mind feels great. It’s not like, ‘Oh, this is going to be my last shot at it.’ So, that’s where my mind is at right now.”
That could indicated another scenario if Thornton prefers to remain in San Jose to end his career. The team could still trade the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent to a contender before the deadline, allowing him to chase a Stanley Cup with the possibility the Sharks might be able to re-sign him in the offseason once again.
“There’s lots of possibilities,” he said. “That could be an option. There’s lots to play with. It is what it is, and we’ll see what happens. I’m a Shark now, and I love being a Shark.”
- Mark Lazerus of The Athletic reports that while there is no deal in place, the Vegas Golden Knights are the clear front-runners to adding Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson before the trade deadline. However, the scribe also notes that Chicago fans shouldn’t get too excited as it is not expected to be a big package. The 27-year-old Gustafsson, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, had a career year in 2018-19, scoring 17 goals and 60 points, but has struggled with the Blackhawks this year as he has just six goals and 26 points.
- Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Ottawa Senators are expected to hold out forward Tyler Ennis from Saturday’s game as the team is expected to move him before the trade deadline and want to protect the veteran from possible injury. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Ennis is a candidate to be traded to the Edmonton Oilers, although there are several teams still rumored to be interested in acquiring him. Ennis could be an interesting trade chip. The 30-year-old has 14 goals and 33 points, his best season since the 2014-15 season. TSN’s Darren Dreger also notes that the Senators are holding out forward Vladislav Namestnikov as well.
- Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu has been on a few lists as a potential trade candidate recently. However, The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports that the center has informed general manager Bill Guerin that he will be staying with the Wild for the remainder of the season. Koivu has a no-movement clause as he wraps up his two-year, $11MM contract this season and has made it clear to management that he has no interest in leaving the team. The 36-year-old has struggled this season, posting just two goals and 15 points through 46 games. He has played his entire career in Minnesota, a total of 1,019 games.