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Sharks Agree To Terms With Center Joe Thornton

by San Jose Sharks @SanJoseSharks / sjsharks.com

SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has agreed to terms with Center Joe Thornton to a one-year contract. 

"Words cannot equate the impact that Joe has had on this franchise since his arrival in San Jose in 2005," said Wilson. "Joe is a generational player who seemingly blazes past an existing Hall-of-Famer with each game he plays. His leadership and dedication to the organization and his teammates is inspiring. He has the rare ability to make the players around him better and we're excited to see him healthy and back wearing the Sharks crest."

Last season, Thornton registered 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 73 games with San Jose, finishing seventh on the Sharks in assists, eighth in points and tied for fourth in game-winning goals.

After missing nine of the first 11 games of the season, Thornton skated in all 71 remaining contests and reached several milestones on the NHL's all-time scoring lists.

Entering the 2018-19 season, Joe Thornton ranked 21st in all-time games played, 12th in assists and 16th in points. By the end of the season, Thornton climbed to 12th in all-time games played (1,566), eighth in all-time assists (1,065) and 14th in points (1,478), passing several Hall-of-Famers including Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Marcel Dionne, Teemu Selanne, and Gordie Howe.

On Nov. 8, 2018 at Dallas, Thornton skated in his 1,500th NHL game, passing Mike Modano for sole possession of 19th on the NHL's all-time games played list. With the achievement, Thornton became the first player in NHL history selected first overall in an NHL Draft to appear in 1,500 career games. A few nights later, on Nov. 13, 2018 vs. Nashville, Thornton recorded the game-winning goal for his 400th career NHL goal. He became just the seventh player in NHL history to skate in 1,500 games, collect 1,000 assists and score 400 goals. Five of the six other players are in the Hockey Hall of Fame - the other being Jaromir Jagr. Over the course of the rest of the season, Thornton appeared in his 1,000th game as a Shark on Jan. 15, 2019 vs. Pittsburgh, and collected his 1,000th point as a Shark on Feb. 7, 2019 at Calgary. He joined only Patrick Marleau as the only other Shark to reach 1,000 games and points as a member of the San Jose franchise.

In 1,566 career NHL games, Thornton has recorded 1,478 points (413 goals, 1,065 assists) and a plus-205 rating. Amongst all NHL players since Thornton entered the NHL for the 1997-98 season, he ranks first in both assists and points. Amongst active NHL players, Thornton is first in career NHL points and assists and seventh in career goals. During the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Thornton recorded his 100th career postseason assist to become the 24th player, and third active, in NHL history to reach the mark. In 179 career playoff games, Thornton has posted 31 goals and 102 assists.

Acquired by San Jose from Boston on Nov. 30, 2005, Thornton has 780 assists and 1,024 points in 1,034 games with the Sharks. During that span, no NHL player has more assists than Thornton and his 1,024 points with San Jose ranks third amongst all NHL players since the trade.

On the Sharks franchise list, Thornton ranks near the top in most statistical categories. He is first in assists, points per game (0.99) and plus-minus (plus-180). He ranks second in points (1,024) and games played (1,034), and third in goals (244).

In 2006-07, Thornton became only the third player in NHL history to have back-to-back 90-plus assist seasons (96 in 2005-06, 92 in 2006-07), joining only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Thornton led the NHL in assists in 2005-06 (96), 2006-07 (92), and 2007-08 (67). He became just the fourth player in NHL history to lead the League in assists for three consecutive seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Stan Mikita (Henrik Sedin has since joined this list in 2011-12).

Thornton was named the winner of both the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy in 2006, the season he was acquired by San Jose. He been selected to six NHL All-Star Games (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009), and was named an NHL First All-Star Team in 2006, and an NHL Second All-Star Team in 2003, 2008 and 2016.

Internationally, Thornton has represented his native Canada on numerous occasions, including winning gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics (also selected in 2006), the 2004 and 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and the 1997 World Junior Championships.

The six-foot-four, 220-pound native of London, Ontario was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the first round (1st overall) of the 1997 NHL Draft. He was acquired by San Jose from Boston on Nov. 30, 2005. 

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