Joe Thornton is reportedly signing to play professional hockey again — just not the San Jose Sharks or the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Neuen Zürcher Zeitung, a sports website in Zurich, Switzerland, reported Thursday morning that Thornton has signed with HC Davos and could play for the team Saturday.
Davos has not yet made an official announcement. A contract with Davos would not preclude Thornton from returning to the NHL when the 2020-2021 season begins, although the league has not set an official start date for training camp or the regular season.
This will be Thornton’s third time playing for Davos, with both previous stints coming during NHL work stoppages. He played 40 games for the team during the 2004-05 season and 33 games in 2012-13.
Thornton, 41, has been practicing with Davos since August and became an unrestricted free agent last Friday.
Thornton has played for the Sharks since Dec. 2005 when he was acquired by general manager Doug Wilson in a trade with the Boston Bruins. But he has been courted recently by the Maple Leafs to play a 23rd NHL season in Toronto, with general manager Kyle Dubas, coach Sheldon Keefe and three-time NHL All-Star Auston Matthews all making their pitch.
Wilson has been in regular communication with Thornton this offseason and said Tuesday that he had spoken with Thornton over the weekend.
Please check back for updates to this story.
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports