SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has signed forward Joe Thornton to a one-year contract.
"With more than 1,600 games played in the NHL, Joe will bring a wealth of experience to our locker room and lineup," said Zito. "His drive to succeed is unmistakable and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club and that he believes in what we are building here in South Florida."
Thornton, 42, has appeared in 1,680 games with the Boston Bruins (1997-98 to 2005-06), San Jose Sharks (2005-06 to 2019-20) and Toronto Maple Leafs (2020-21), which stands as the second-most games played of any active NHL player and is the sixth-most games played all time. He has amassed 1,529 points (425-1,104-1,529) over his career, which leads all active NHL skaters. His 1,104 career assists lead all active players and ranks as the seventh-most assists all time. Over 186 career NHL postseason games, Thornton has produced 134 points (32-102-134).
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound native of London, Ontario has been named an NHL All-Star six times (2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) and was the recipient of both the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy in 2005-06 after leading the league with 96 assists and 125 points. He paced the NHL in assists for three consecutive seasons, in 2005-06 (96), 2006-07 (92) and 2007-08 (67).
Thornton is San Jose's all-time franchise leader in assists (804), power-play points (402) and plus-minus rating (+161), ranking second in total points (1,055). He served as captain for both the Sharks and Bruins, eclipsing the 100-point mark three times (2002-03, 2005-06 and 2006-07) and the 80-point mark seven times.
Thornton played for HC Davos of the Swiss National League in 2004-05, 2012-13 and 2020-21. He led Davos to a National League title in 2004-05, leading the playoffs in assists (21) and points (25) over 14 postseason contests.
On the international stage, Thornton has earned Gold Medals representing Canada at the IIHF U20 World Junior Championship (1997), the World Cup of Hockey (2004, 2016) and the Winter Olympic Games (2010). He also earned a Silver Medal at the 2005 IIHF World Championship and was named the tournament's most valuable player after recording 16 points (6-10-16) over nine games.
Prior to his professional career, Thornton played two seasons (1995-96 to 1996-97) for the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), producing 198 points (71-127-198) over 125 games.
Thornton was originally selected by the Boston Bruins with the first overall pick of the 1997 NHL Draft.
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With construction now fully underway, the Florida Panthers' FTL War Memorial Auditorium will debut in 2022 as the team's new state-of-the-art practice facility and a vibrant sports, entertainment, and community recreation hub in Fort Lauderdale's Holiday Park. The revitalized community destination will continue to serve as an honored tribute to local military heroes. For the latest updates, visit www.ftlwarmemorial.com and follow @FTLWarMemorial on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.