San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton wants to remain with the team next season

San Jose Sharks legend Joe Thornton may have been disappointed about not receiving a trade deadline deal, but he seemingly still wants to remain in San Jose next season.

The San Jose Sharks came close to dealing Joe Thornton at the trade deadline, but a swap never materialized. The thought of seeing Thornton in a jersey that wasn’t teal again seemed unimaginable at one point, but it almost became a reality this past week.

However, Thornton remains with the Sharks and he is seemingly planning on that being the case for the foreseeable future.

The longtime Sharks center expressed his disappointment following the trade deadline simply stating “I wanted a shot.” Thornton has played 22 seasons in the NHL and has never managed to secure an elusive Stanley Cup victory.

And given that the Sharks are currently 14 points back of a playoff spot with 19 games to go, it doesn’t appear as though he’ll be able to accomplish that feat in San Jose — at least this season.

As such, it was no surprise that Thornton was disappointed to have stayed put in the Bay Area past Monday’s deadline. Despite this, the Ontario native has come out and turned that initial negativity into positivity about the future.

Thornton had the following to say when asked about his future on Thursday morning.

“I’m a Shark. The ownership’s great and it just trickles all the way down. I feel good, I feel healthy. We still have (19) games left, so a lot can happen. But I feel good. I’ve always said I’m a lifelong Shark and that I will make no apologies for that.”

There have been rumblings that he may potentially want to play in Toronto next season — a notion that has some sense to it. The Maple Leafs are a contending team that’s likely positioned for future success more so than the Sharks are.

And it also helps that Thornton’s home town of St. Thomas, Ontario is only about 120 miles west of Toronto.

That said, Thornton’s comments seem to indicate his intentions to stay in San Jose at least for another season.

The 40-year-old is in the midst of his 22nd NHL season and his 15th as a member of the Sharks. While he’s clearly not the player he once was, Thornton still provides value to the Sharks even in this lost season.

With a heap of young talent taking the ice in the coming weeks — the Sharks dressed six rookies during Thursday night’s thrilling overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils — Thornton’s veteran leadership is invaluable.

This is especially true following the trade of Patrick Marleau. Thornton is the most experienced and respected player on the team. Who better for the young players to learn from?

The thought of seeing Joe Thornton playing for another team other than the Sharks for the first time since 2005 nearly became a reality just a few days ago.

Next: San Jose Sharks: Assessing all four trade deadline deals

But as fate would have it, Thornton may never don a non-teal jersey again.

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