Joe Thornton’s future has been one of the hot NHL topics of the summer after his San Jose Sharks blew a 3-0 first-round series lead to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
The Sharks appear headed for a mini-rebuild (or retool) and might decide to part with veterans such as Thornton and Patrick Marleau in order to acquire assets for the future and/or allow the younger generation of players (such as Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski) to play a more prominent role in terms of on-ice usage and leadership.
According to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area, one of San Jose’s former Pacific Division rivals has interest in trading for Thornton.
Dallas is a team on the rise and reached the playoffs last season after rookie general manager Jim Nill made a flurry of moves in the summer, including the blockbuster trade with the Boston Bruins that brought No. 1 center Tyler Seguin to the Stars.
Shawn Horcoff is the Stars’ No. 2 center, but he would be better suited as a third-line player. Acquiring Thornton would give Dallas an awesome 1-2 punch down the middle and add some much-needed playoff experience to a young roster. Even at age 35, Thornton remains one of the league’s best offensive players. He tallied 76 points (11 goals, 65 assists) in 82 games last season.
Thornton will be the one who decides his future based on the no-movement clause in his contract. His three-year extension worth $6.75 million per season begins in 2014-15.