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Karlsson & Kane Already Plotting Thornton’s Return to San Jose?



Erik Karlsson, Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Credit: Erik Karlsson

“Hopefully this is not our last photo taken together both as [Sharks].”

“I’ll make sure to keep your seat next to me at the back of the plane vacant until you come back.”

Are Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane already setting the table for Joe Thornton’s return to the San Jose Sharks? Just hours after it was announced that Thornton had signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs?

It’s not far-fetched, of course: Patrick Marleau left San Jose for Toronto in 2017 and came back in October 2019 (and again in October 2020). Thornton will be a UFA once again at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Whatever happens, hopefully San Jose Sharks fans will get a proper chance to let the 41-year-old know how they feel about him before he hangs them up.

If next season is, as expected, shortened, and Toronto doesn’t travel to San Jose, it’s possible that Thornton’s last game at SAP Center will be an otherwise unmemorable 4-3 loss to Colorado on March 8, 2020, four days before the pause of the 2019-20 campaign.

Hours after the announcement, Thornton’s San Jose Sharks teammates weren’t shy about letting Jumbo know how they feel about him. Besides Kane and Karlsson’s, the tributes poured forth on social media.

Labanc also told San Jose Hockey Now: “He loves to play the game and we will all miss having him around!”

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