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38-year-old Thornton returns to San Jose

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By Maximillian C. Burgos | Contributing Writer

Joe Thornton, a 20 year veteran, has re-signed with the San Jose Sharks. He has received a one-year, $6.5 million.

Thornton is also receiving a $1.25 million signing bonus. According to reports, at least 14 teams were interested in signing him.

Joe Thornton (Getty Images)

Joe Thornton (Getty Images)

The 38-year old center was drafted in 1997 as the first overall pick by the Boston Bruins.

Picture of Thornton…

The then-18-year-old kid only scored 3 goals and 4 assists in 55 games during his rookie campaign. His +/- that year was -6, a far cry from the 206 that he has accumulated now over the years.

Thornton was traded to the San Jose Sharks in the ’05-’06 season. In the same season, he won both the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy. He become the only player in NHL history to do so while switching clubs.

He is also the third-player to record 90+ assists in back-to-back seasons in NHL history (2006 and 2007). He also scoring the highest-point total recording a 125 points while playing for two teams in one season (2006).

The only two other players to record more than 90+ assists in back-to-back seasons were Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Thornton also has the honor of having the most assists in Sharks history with 722 as of this moment.

Thornton has had four solid years recently and does not seem to be slowing down too much, still averaging just below 19 minutes on the ice per game.

In his long 20-year career, he has played in 1,446 regular season games, scored 384 goals, 1,007 assists, and has accumulated a +/- of 206. He even has 61 game-winning goals in his career.

He has played in six All-Star games from 2002 to 2009. In 2009, he was even a captain on the team.

He is a six-time All-Star. He was first named an All-Star in 2002, before going to three straight. He also went to three straight All-Star games from 2007 through 2009.

Thornton also makes his presence felt in the post-season. He has played in 160 post season games, scoring 27 goals, 96 assists, and averaged 20 minutes on the ice.

Thornton is also one of 86 players to score a 1,000 points in NHL history. He could have made the list on his assists alone after 994 games played.

Even at the age of 38, Thornton still has some left in the tank to play in the NHL and be productive. He may be past his prime, but his many years of experience are absolutely priceless on the ice.

“Joe has become one of the faces of this franchise since his arrival in 2005 and we feel it’s only fitting that he will be wearing teal going forward,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “He is a generational playmaker and his accomplishments place him amongst the elite players to ever play the game. He has helped lead this team to new levels and continues to be one of the top two-way centers in the league.

“His leadership on and off the ice have been instrumental in this franchise’s success, and we’re excited that he has continued his commitment to this organization and the fans in San Jose.”

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