Of course, he’s shirtless.
Joe Thornton has officially retired from the NHL.
“Hey, judging by how many people keep asking me, I guess I have to tell you, I’m officially retiring from the NHL,” a shirtless Thornton said in a video released by the San Jose Sharks on social media.
🚨 Important Shirtless Jumbo Message 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ZQJxCSr8zm
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 28, 2023
Thornton hasn’t played since the 2021-22 campaign with the Florida Panthers, but until now, has never officially put in his retirement papers.
“Thought you guys would figure out sooner, but you kept asking,” he joked. “So here I am retiring.”
Thornton has been evasive about his future plans when cornered, the assumption being that the 44-year-old would come back to the NHL if called upon.
Instead, he’ll retire after a remarkable 24-year career with the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Florida Panthers. The 1997 first-overall pick finishes with 1,539 points, 12th in NHL history, 1,109 of those being assists, seventh in league history.
Thornton spent 15 seasons with the Sharks, his 1,055 points second in franchise history, behind only recently-retired Patrick Marleau, and his 804 assists tops. These years were highlighted by a 2006 Hart Trophy and a 2016 Stanley Cup Final run.
“I’ve so much love for the game of hockey and for countless number of people that helped this kid’s dream become a reality,” Thornton said. “And if you’re looking for me, you know where to find me, I’ll be at the rink. Peace and love.”
Thornton is still a regular at SAP Center and Sharks Ice, be it helping out the San Jose Sharks front office in various unofficial capacities and watching or coaching his hockey-playing kids.
There’s no word on when the San Jose Sharks will retire Thornton’s jersey, but you know that’s happening. However, my guess is, it won’t be this year, it takes time to do things right, and nothing has officially been scheduled this season.
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