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Thornton Set to Play in NHL Milestone 1,000th Game

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
SAN JOSE, California – San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is scheduled to play his NHL milestone 1,000th game tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. Thornton will become the 266th player in NHL history, the second player this season to reach the 1,000 NHL game milestone (Montreal’s Hal Gill notched his 1,000th game tonight in Pittsburgh) and the 25th active player with 1,000 games under his belt.

The Sharks will honor Thornton with a special pre-game ceremony on Nov. 3 at HP Pavilion. The ceremony will recognize Thornton for reaching the 1,000 NHL games plateau, as well as notching his 1000th NHL point, which he earned on April 8, 2011 at Phoenix with a goal against Ilya Bryzgalov.

The winner of the 2006 Hart Memorial and Art Ross Trophies is the second player from the 1997 NHL Entry Draft class to reach 1,000 games, joining teammate Patrick Marleau who accomplished the feat last season. Thornton is a six-time NHL All-Star and was selected as an NHL First Team All-Star in 2006 and Second Team All-Star in 2003 and 2008.

Selected by the Bruins first overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, no player has produced more points than Thornton (1,002) since he made his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 1997 (306 goals, 696 assists). On the NHL’s all-time lists, he ranks tied for 53rd in assists and is 78th in points. In addition, he is fourth amongst all active NHL players in career assists and sixth in points.

Named Captain of the Sharks in 2010, amongst the all-time franchise leaders he is tied for first in assists (411) with Marleau, first in plus-minus (+109), second in points (137-411=548), fourth in power play goals (53), fifth in goals (137), and seventh in game-winning goals (22). He has averaged over a point-per-game (1.17) since being acquired by the Sharks on Nov. 30, 2005. Upon his arrival to San Jose, he went on to play in a Sharks franchise record 379 consecutive games played (Dec. 1, 2005 – March 27, 2010). The Sharks have posted a 289-130-53 record since his acquisition, which is the second-best mark in the NHL over that span, and only Alex Ovechkin has produced more points in that time.

Thornton has been named NHL Player of the Month (Second Star) twice, March 2007 and Nov. 2009. He has also been the NHL Offensive Player of the Week five times (Dec. 5-11, 2005; April 10-16, 2006; March 12-18, 2007; March 24-30, 2008; and Nov. 16-22, 2009), NHL Player of the Week (Second Star) from Oct. 25-31, 2010 and was a Third Star selection twice (March 3-9, 2008 and Jan. 2-8, 2007. “Jumbo” has recorded four NHL hat tricks, most recently Oct. 27, 2010 vs. New Jersey.

In addition, he has twice been named the “Sharks Player of the Year” (2006, 2007) and is also a six-time “Sharks Player of the Month” recipient, winning in Nov. 2009, Dec. 2008, Feb. 2007, Dec. 2006, April 2006, and Dec. 2005

Internationally, the six-foot-four, 230-pound center helped Team Canada win the 2010 Gold Medal at the Winter Games in Vancouver and participated in the 2006 Winter Games in Torino. He has participated in two World Championships (2001, 2005) and was selected to Canada’s roster for the 2004 World Cup. He was also a member of Canada’s World Jr. Championship team in 1997.

Thornton has appeared in 109 Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering 82 points (18 goals, 64 assists) and 104 penalty minutes. With San Jose, he is second on the franchise’s leader board for postseason points (12-52=64) and first in assists (52) in 74 games played.

Thornton is the 12th player to play in his 1,000th NHL game in a Sharks uniform along with Doug Wilson (Nov. 21, 1992), Gaetan Duschene (Feb. 26, 1995), Bernie Nicholls (Oct. 20, 1996), Murray Craven (March 30, 1998), Bob Rouse (Jan. 2, 1999), Vincent Damphousse (April 6, 1999), Ron Sutter (Oct. 16, 1999), Gary Suter (Oct. 25, 2000), Adam Graves (Oct. 27, 2001), Mike Ricci (Feb. 11, 2004) and Patrick Marleau (Jan. 17, 2010).

Game #1 Oct. 8, 1997 Boston at Phoenix
Game #100 Jan. 28, 1999 Boston vs. New Jersey
Game #500 March 11, 2004 Boston at Buffalo
Game #600 Oct. 25, 2006 San Jose at Detroit
Game #700 Dec. 8, 2007 San Jose vs. Buffalo
Game #800 Jan. 27, 2009 San Jose at Colorado
Game #900 4-Mar-10 San Jose vs. Montreal
Game #999 Oct. 17, 2011 San Jose vs. Anaheim
Game #1,000 Oct. 21, 2011 San Jose at New Jersey
First NHL Goal Dec. 3, 1997 Boston at Philadelphia
First NHL Assist Jan. 25, 1998 Boston at Washington
First NHL Hat Trick March 1, 2001 Boston vs. Tampa Bay
500th Career Point Feb. 12, 2006 San Jose at Phoenix
600th Career Assist Nov. 20, 2010 San Jose vs. Philadelphia
300th Career Goal Feb. 22, 2011 San Jose at Detroit
1000th Career Point April 8, 2011 San Jose at Phoenix

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