The trade happened two days ago but today at 5 p.m. (on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com), Joe Thornton
will make his Sharks debut against the Buffalo Sabres. While Thornton was already was familiar with his cousin Scott, former teammate Kyle McLaren (who picked him up at the airport in Buffalo) and Patrick Marleau
(from international play), the imposing center skated with his future teammates for the first time at Friday’s morning skate in Buffalo.
“I think that everybody in this locker room has welcomed me,” said Joe Thornton
. “They’ve been so nice and kind. You know, I’m happy that I came to a team that really wanted me and had a bunch of young guys that are excited about playing hockey.”
The newest Shark is excited to be playing alongside his cousin for his first game.
“Yes and it’s going to be fun,” said Joe Thornton
. “I’m excited to play with him and we’ve got Cheech (Jonathan Cheechoo) on the right side. I think that line’s going to be an effective line for the Sharks.”
Thornton has notice from afar some similarities between Cheechoo and his former linemate, Glen Murray in Boston
“He (Murray) had a great shot and just knew where to go,” said Joe Thornton
. “He was a pure goal scorer. I think Cheech has a lot of those qualities in himself. He’s a right handed shot, he’s got a good release and he has a knack for finding the back of the net. Obviously, Scotty brings a physical force out there and it’s going to be an effective line.”
The probable Sharks lines for the Buffalo contest appear to be:
On the blueline, rookie Doug Murray, just called up from Cleveland yesterday, will be making his NHL debut. The likely blueline pairings are:
Evgeni Nabokov looks to be getting the call between the pipes.
San Jose has their work cut out for them as Buffalo has won five in a row for the first time since 1993 and Sharks are 0-11 lifetime in the city on the lake.
With both Thorntons hailing from Ontario, there will be about 15 family members in attendance for the contest, including the parents of both Sharks.
Neither Thornton will have a first initial attached to the name plate, simply going with the last name. Joe will also debut with number 19 which was ironically worn by Marco Sturm.
BACK IN TO
His acquisition may have occurred several seasons ago, but Saturday night, Alyn McCauley will be making his first return to Toronto since being shipped to San Jose in the Owen Nolan deal.