While trade rumors regarding San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton are nothing new, the team interested certainly is.
According to Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Maple Leafs are heavily interested in Thornton, but they’re not the only ones. Apparently at least six teams are interested in “Jumbo Joe”, and are looking to make a play for him.
The Maple Leafs motivation to acquire the 35-year-old center is likely offensively motivated, as the star could be teamed with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsyk, to create an excellent trio.
Both Kessel and van Riemsyk had excellent years with Tyler Bozak serving as their center. However, Thornton, who was among the league leaders in assists, greatly appeals to Toronto.
Toronto has a couple of players who seem primed for a possible trade in defenseman Jake Gardiner, and center Nazem Kadri. The two had impressive statistical seasons, but may not fit coach Randy Carlyle’s coaching scheme.
The Sharks seem prepared to deal their captain, who has a no-movement clause in his contract. According to many, the Maple Leafs aren’t opposed to dealing with other teams in efforts to improve their roster. However, an issue could arise in dealing the two young players for the 35-year old Thornton.