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Thornton celebrates five years with Sharks

NHL.com @NHL
Tuesday marked the fifth anniversary of the Sharks acquiring All-Star, Olympic gold medalist and Hart Memorial Trophy winner Joe Thornton. In fact, during San Jose's game against Detroit last night, he posted his 500th point with the Sharks.

Today marks the first day he met his new Sharks teammates five years ago and tomorrow will be the fifth anniversary of his first game with the Sharks. If you recall, he posted two assists in that game on Dec. 2, 2005 at Buffalo.

This may be the 20th anniversary season for the Sharks, but it's the fifth anniversary season with Thornton and he's made quite an impression in one-quarter of the franchise's history. During his five- year run in teal, some truly amazing numbers tell the tale. Thornton is third in the League in points (122 goals, 378 assists in 404 games) behind Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby since his acquisition.

His effect on the entire team is shown in the club's 67.2 points percentage (251-110-48) that trails only Detroit in that period. Indeed, over the last five years, Thornton's influence has been felt with the Sharks.

"It's great to have an elite level player like Joe Thornton with 500 points in five years," Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson said. "I still feel like he's coming into his prime, but if you take a look at what he has accomplished in his career with the World Juniors, the World Cup and the Olympic gold medal, he's certainly one of the top players in this game. He has grown as a player and as a person."

As for his playmaking abilities, who wouldn't want to play on his line? Four teammates have scored 30-plus goals when they've played a good portion of a season on his line (Jonathan Cheechoo, Patrick Marleau, Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley). In fact, the Sharks have had 12 players in their history score 30 or more goals in a season and eight of those have occurred since Thornton joined the team. Marleau, Cheechoo, Setoguchi and Milan Michalek all set single-season highs in goals when they've played with "Jumbo."

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