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SJHN Daily: Thornton Not Sure About Coming Back, But That’s Nothing New

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Credit: AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker

During the Florida Panthers’ exit interviews, former San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton commented that he has not yet made a decision regarding returning to the NHL next season, saying he first needs to speak with his family

Joe Thornton says no decision made on NHL, Florida Panthers future

However, this non-committal language is keeping in typical Joe Thornton practice, going back a few years.

The last time that Thornton committed to coming back next year in an exit interview was after the 2017-18 season.

“It’s no secret I’m a Shark,” he said in his 2018 exit interview. “I bleed teal and I want to come back and I know I’m going to be healthy when I come back. I’m sure we can figure something out, but I want to come back.”

But since then, Jumbo has been playing things closer to the chest.

In his 2019 exit interview with the Sharks, Thornton said: “I haven’t made any decision. I feel like I can still play, that’s for sure. I haven’t made any decision at all yet.”

Because of the pandemic, Thornton didn’t have a 2020 locker room cleanout interview, but his 2021 exit interview with the Toronto Maple Leafs had a similar message: “This came so sudden [being eliminated], I have not had time to think about it. I feel really good, but I have to take some time and be a dad.”

All of this goes to say that there’s no need to read into Thornton’s comment about having made no decision as anything but precisely what he said. It may be a smokescreen or perhaps he hasn’t decided.

Thornton was a frequent healthy scratch in his 24th NHL season, potting 10 points in 34 games and appearing in just one playoff game.

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Zeke

Joe Thornton wants to play for a Stanley Cup and sign with a contender. Teams which want to win a Stanley Cup aren’t looking at Joe Thornton for help. The Venn diagram is two circles with no overlap. If Thornton wants to play, he’ll likely have to find a non-contender looking for a player who can mentor younger players. With the promise, perhaps, that he’ll get traded at the deadline, if possible. Maybe there’s a few teams who might consider this. Sp perhaps there’s a window for Jumbo to continue his NHL career, but its slim and not on the… Read more »

david barnard

he’s “done like dinner”.

Gary To

Best player in teal ever. I just hope he’s gonna be happy with either decisions.

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