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Joe Thornton Comments on Rumors About Leaving Sharks

What did Joe Thornton say about rumors he might look at a team not named the San Jose Sharks next season, specifically Toronto?

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Joe Thornton was going to take some time and seriously consider his options after this season ends. Would it be slam dunk that he look to re-sign with the Sharks? Would there be other options out there that might give him a better chance to win a Stanley Cup? After all, it was only a couple of days ago that Thornton told the media, “I wanted a shot, you know? Believe it or not. I’ve been hunting this thing down for 22 years, so I wanted another shot at it…. Back to the grind, and that’s how it is.”

Friedman exact words in his 31 Thoughts article were, “If Thornton is not sold on the Sharks, and he’s willing to seek out new life (boldly go where no one has gone before), my prediction is Toronto will be a factor.”

If this is true, Friedman certainly didn’t hear those words come out of Thornton’s mouth specifically. Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News reports that the veteran center fully intends to return with the San Jose Sharks next season.

Thorton said when asked about the rumor of the Maple Leafs, “It’s an iconic team for sure. But I’m a Shark. I’m a Shark. I’ve been privileged to play here and understand what it is to be a Shark.”

There’s certainly a desire by Thornton to win a Stanley Cup and his GM, Doug Wilson, has said he believes the Sharks can get back to being a contending team as early as next season. Thornton said about returning the the team he’s spent more than 15 seasons with:

I’m trying to pass it on to the younger guys and how much pride we take out here playing in front of these fans. I’ve always said I’m a lifelong Shark and that I will make no apologies for that.”

Related: Bobby Ryan Scores Hat Trick in First Game Back After 100 Days Sober

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