May 11, 2018 | 2:35pM ET
THORNTON, KANE FUTURES IN SAN JOSE IN LIMBO
Joe Thornton, centre
On the heels of their second-round playoff exit to the Vegas Golden Knights, the San Jose Sharks revealed the injury situation of Joe Thornton.
Thornton, who will turn 39 in July, suffered a fully torn ACL and MCL back in January. As a result, Thornton missed the balance of the regular season.
The news of the injury has raised questions about Thornton’s future with the club, as is one-year contract is set to expire July 1.
“Obviously I want to come back, and I’m sure we’ll try and work something out,” Thornton told Kevin Kurz of The Athletic. “It’s no secret that I'm a Shark. I bleed teal and I want to come back.”
Sharks GM Doug Wilson hinted a return could be in the cards.
“Joe Thornton is so easy to deal with because he’s a team-first guy,” Wilson said on Tuesday, as quoted by the Sharks website. “He loves this organization and what he’s done since the day he came here is what makes him special.”
Despite Thornton’s desire to return to the team, Kurz suggested the team could be in a different direction.
Brent Burns just finished the first-year of an eight-year, $64 million deal, while fellow defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goaltender Martin Jones have brand new significant contracts set to kick in next season. Forwards Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are each one-year away from unrestricted free agency, and deadline acquisition Evander Kane’s is set to expire in less than two months.
Joe Thornton says his injury this year was the same as last year - both ligaments (MCL and ACL) in his right knee were torn. Makes it clear he wants to return to Sharks and is comfortable with another one-year deal.— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) May 8, 2018
If Thornton is to come back, it will be on another one-year deal. Thornton seems open to that, and his agenda seems to be doing whatever it takes to staying in San Jose.
“I know I’m going to be healthy when I come back,” he said. “I’m sure we can figure something out, but I want to come back.”
With respect to Kane, the sniper isn’t sure what the future has planned, either, but his agent will be speaking with Wilson in the coming weeks.
“He’s a difference maker,” Wilson said. “He came in here – I talk about our leadership and our culture – and really appreciated that and we appreciated him. I think it was a good fit for him, it was a good fit for us. I’ll be sitting down with his agent in the next little while.”