Sharks players, fans take to social media to thank Joe Thornton for 15 years in San Jose

🇸🇬🎃👻 (@PrevDiesel)

For the first time in 15 years, Joe Thornton will be taking the ice in NHL sweater with no teal thread.

The longtime Sharks center is Toronto-bound, signing a one-year deal with the iconic — though recently unsuccessful — club located just a two-hour drive from his hometown of St. Thomas, Ontario.

It’s an emotional afternoon for Sharks fans, who watched Thornton’s beard grow and go gray over the course of nearly 1,250 games with the organization, including 144 playoff games. In that time, the Leafs haven’t won a single playoff series while Thornton’s Sharks have won 14 — but the Leafs may be closer to resurgence than the Sharks, who appeared last year to be quite far from contending for the Cup.

Several of Thornton’s Sharks teammates took to social media to share that they will miss playing alongside Jumbo Joe, including Brent Burns, who shared the SAP Center ice with Thornton since the 2011-12 season.

Daaaamn…. going to miss a lot more then just laughing with this guy… ultimate teammate, friend and guy to learn from..@MapleLeafs got a great one coming! pic.twitter.com/S0WMD3aHy7

— Brent Burns (@Burnzie88) October 16, 2020

Forward Kevin Labanc, who just re-upped to stay in San Jose four more years, said the Leafs were fortunate to be bringing the 41-year-old Thornton into the fold.

Mentor, line mate, friend and all of the above. Going to miss having him around the locker room. They don’t make them like him anymore! You got a good one @MapleLeafs. Good luck in Blue Jumbo! pic.twitter.com/gyDlWqRMNe

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— Kevin Labanc (@Str8ToTheBanc) October 16, 2020

The Sharks announced that they were planning to make the healthy choice on a difficult Friday afternoon, by logging off.

Plenty of Sharks fans shared their affection for Thornton in response to the Sharks.

Can’t wait for the tribute video. 15 great seasons. Thank you Jumbo, no one should ever wear #19 in teal ever again. What a player. What a teammate. What a member of the community. What a human being. #JUMBO #JoeThornton pic.twitter.com/PfS1NmjM6N

— Previn Naidu (@PrevDiesel) October 16, 2020

Thornton’s former Sharks teammate, TJ Galiardi, lauded the move from Toronto’s perspective.

This is just about the most impactful signing the @MapleLeafs could have made for this upcoming season and future seasons. No better teammate or leader!

— TJ Galiardi (@TJGaliardi) October 16, 2020

One Maple Leafs fan found a strange connection between Thornton and his new teammate, All-Star center Auston Matthews: Thornton’s first NHL point came in a Boston Bruins preseason game on the same day Matthews was born in San Ramon.

September 17, 1997, the day Joe Thornton picked up his first-ever point while wearing an NHL uniform (an assist in a 3-2 Bruins preseason win against the Blues in Oklahoma City), is also the day Auston Matthews was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

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