The San Jose Sharks suffered another painful early exit in the NFL Playoffs in 2014 and that could serve as the tipping point for the club as they look to remake the roster and that could include dumping veteran center Joe Thornton.
Thornton, 35, signed a three-year extension along with Patrick Marleau during the regular season that includes a no-movement clause and while he has said he is happy in San Jose there is one scenario that would make the 6-4, 225-pound center reconsider his stance and allow the team to trade him, according to David Pollak of the Mercury News.
One thing might get the Sharks captain to reconsider his stated intent to remain in San Jose despite suggestions from management that it may be time to move on, according to his brother and agent, John Thornton.
“If he felt the fans didn’t want him in San Jose, he might re-think things,” John Thornton said when asked if his brother would want to play where it was apparent he was not wanted.
Trading Thornton who remains one of the best set-up men in the NHL after a 65-assist season would not only be a bad move for the franchise, it would be the classic case of a panic move after a playoff ouster.
Thornton has a reputation as a player who shrinks in the postseason, but I would imagine 29 other teams would line up to trade for him if the fans made it clear they want to move forward with a young and talented nucleus of Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski, but keeping Thornton and making tweaks to the roster elsewhere would be the best bet moving forward for the Sharks.