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
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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#Avs fans supporting Nazem Kadri.
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