One of the biggest storylines on the San Jose Sharks this post-season has been about veteran forward Joe Thornton and his ongoing search for the Stanley Cup. As the Sharks advanced to the Western Conference Final, it looked like this might finally be the year he’d hoist the coveted Cup, but the St. Louis Blues‘ series-clinching victory in Game 6 Tuesday night officially extinguished that idea for another year.
Now, the question shifts to whether we’ll see Thornton lace up the skates in the NHL again. But it might still be a little while yet before we get an answer.
According to NHL Network’s Jon Morosi, Thornton kept things brief when asked about whether he’d thought about his future.
Thornton, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and will turn 40 a day after, proved he’s still more than capable of contributing offensively. He had four goals and 10 points in 18 games this post-season after putting together a 51-point regular season — his 17th season with 50-plus points.
Long a fan favourite in the league for his elite playmaking, expert beard growing, and quote-worthy media scrums, Thornton has signed a one-year deal with the Sharks in each of the past two off-seasons, earning $8 million in 2017-18 and $5 million this year.
The Sharks will face plenty of off-season contract questions this summer as captain Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson, and Joonas Donskoi are among those also due to be UFAs in addition to notable RFAs like Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc.