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What’s Next For Joe Thornton?

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

Thornton is 37 years old. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. But after putting his knee on the line for his team, he underwent surgery Monday afternoon to repair the damage.

Which means: Any team that was thinking about signing Thornton to a free agent deal would surely want to see how his knee recovers from the surgery–but with a six-month recovery and rehab period ahead of him, no one will know for certain about his status until October, which is when the NHL season starts.

Which almost surely means: Thornton is likely to receive no free agent offers this summer–or at least no multi-year offers, which he’s said to prefer.

Which furthermore means: Thornton’s unfortunate injury could benefit the Sharks. They have exclusive rights to Thornton regarding a contract extension until July 1.  It’s a safe assumption that the team wants him back. But if general manager Doug Wilson wishes, he could use the situation as leverage for terms that are more favorable to the team. That could include less money or a shorter contract term.

Which calculatedly means: Thornton is not in the best negotiating position, despite being one of the NHL’s all-time top 25 point scorers.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com