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January 5, 2017 | 2:05pm ET
Thornton unlikely to sign with Sharks mid-season

Veteran star center Joe Thornton plans on playing well beyond next season, and he's made that perfectly clear to the San Jose Sharks.

As first reported by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun on Wednesday, Thornton's agent, and brother John, has informed the Sharks that they want a three-year contract.

Whether they end up getting it with the Sharks or with another team via free agency is another story.

LeBrun believes the Sharks might be comfortable giving Thornton a one-year contract and taking things from there.

Thornton turns 38 on July 2, though LeBrun also pointed out that he is in incredible shape and could play well into his 40s.

According to a source close to the Sharks, GM Doug Wilson is unlikely to entertain the thought of signing Thornton to an extension during this season and the two sides will hold off discussions until San Jose's season comes to an end.

The Sharks have the expansion draft to worry about, as well, which makes it even more unlikely that Thornton will sign prior to that point.

Thornton and the Sharks have had a rocky relationship going back to August 2014 when the club stripped Thornton of his captaincy. Despite the hard feelings, it seems as if Thornton would welcome a return to the Shark Tank beyond this season.

Thornton has struggled to find the back of the net in his first 38 games of this season, tallying just two goals so far, but his 23 assists has him on pace for 50 on the season. He is currently 13 assists away from 1,000 on his career.


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