Joe Thornton was disappointed not to be joining a new team on Monday ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.
The San Jose Sharks veteran centre was rumoured to be on the market as he chases his first career Stanley Cup. But despite teammate Patrick Marleau being shipped to the Pittsburgh Penguins, no trade materialized for Thornton.
He said he was willing to go elsewhere to win a Cup.
“I’ve been dreaming about that ever since I can remember and it just didn’t come to fruition, for whatever reason,” he told The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz on Tuesday. “I wanted to get something back for the Sharks obviously to help them continue this process with young guys. It just didn’t work out.”
The 40-year-old has played in 1,628 career NHL games, but hasn’t touched Lord Stanley. The closest he came to doing so was in 2016 when his Sharks fell in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.
San Jose has struggled to a 26-32-4 record this season, which has included the firing of head coach Pete DeBoer in December.
Thornton said although he’s not sure why he wasn’t dealt, he’s still happy to be a Shark.
“It would have been nice to at least have a chance,” he said. “I wanted a shot, you know? Believe it or not. I’ve been hunting this thing down for 22 years, so I wanted another shot at it. I wanted to get something (for the Sharks) in return. It just didn’t work out. Back to the grind, and that’s how it is.”
Thornton believes he still has a few more years left in him to contribute to an NHL team.
In 62 games this season, the London, Ont., native has four goals and 23 assists.