Joe Thornton is determined to make the most of the remainder of his professional hockey career.
The NHL free-agent center signed with HC Davos on Thursday, the Swiss hockey professional club announced in a press release and on social media. He’s expected to play for the club as early as Saturday, according to The San Jose Mercury’s Curtis Pashelka.
“HC fans,” Thornton said. “I’m back.”
Thornton, who possess a Switzerland passport and is married to a Swiss woman, played for Davos during the 2004-05 and the 2012 NHL lockouts and has been training with the club since July. His latest stint with the club officially is a loan, which will allow him to return to the NHL for a 23rd season when the new campaign begins.
Thornton spent his last 15 NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks and now is an unrestricted free agent. The 41 year-old wants to return for another NHL season and he and the Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly have “mutual interest” in each other.
Until interest from Toronto, San Jose or another potential suitor solidifies into a contract, Thornton will maintain his sharpness by showcasing his talents in central Europe.