Sharks’ Joe Thornton Returns For His 22nd NHL Season

Joe Thornton. Photo by Dom Gagne/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton won’t be retiring after all. The 40-year-old decided to return for his 22nd NHL season, signing a one-year, $2 million deal with the organization on Friday.

Following the end of 2018/19 season, Thornton publicly stated that he is considering retirement. Then, during the offseason, he changed his mind, saying that he would consider playing one more year but only in San Jose. It is needless to say that Sharks didn’t hesitate to make this happen.

“I just wanted to rest the body a little bit after the season was over and see how it felt, and it felt good,” – Thornton told reporters after his return was made official. “It wasn’t too long after the season was over I said I want to keep going.”

Thornton made 73 appearances in the regular season in 2018/19, scoring 16 goals and dishing 35 assists. He added 10 more points in the playoffs.

Joe Thornton joined the San Jose Sharks in 2005 from Boston Bruins, and quickly became the face of the franchise. He helped turn the Sharks into a perennial Stanley Cup contender, leading them to two conference finals appearances and one Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2016.

Thornton played 1,566 games in NHL during his career, having scored 413 goals and provided 1,065 assists.