Sharks' Joe Thornton 'Feels Great,' Will Return for 22nd NHL Season: Report - NBC Bay Area

Sharks' Joe Thornton 'Feels Great,' Will Return for 22nd NHL Season: Report

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    Sharks' Joe Thornton 'Feels Great,' Will Return for 22nd NHL Season: Report
    Getty Images
    Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks attends the 2019 NHL Awards Nominee Media Availability on June 18, 2019 at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    It's sounding like Joe Thornton will be back with the Sharks next season.

    Thornton had previously expressed that if he were to return for a 22nd NHL season, it would indeed be with San Jose.

    "I'm a Shark," Thornton said at the Sharks' end-of-season availability. "There's one team, and it's here."

    Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman is reporting that at the NHL Awards media availability on Tuesday, Thornton eliminated whatever mystery remained and confirmed he would put off retirement for at least another year.

     

    Thornton can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but it's fully expected he and San Jose will come to an agreement on a contract, a task made somewhat easier by the trade of defensemen Justin Braun on Tuesday morning, which provides some much-needed salary cap relief.

    [RELATED: Sharks trade Braun to Flyers, acquire two draft picks]

    "He can have all the time he needs to make whatever decision's right for him," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said of Thornton back in May, "But we love him. I think I've been in this business a long time, I've never met anyone like him and we cherish the days we have him."

    Thornton's announcement Tuesday would seem to indicate there are plenty of more days left to cherish.

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