It was 6 years ago to the day, on July 1, 2007 that Joe Thornton signed his first 3-year extension with the San Jose Sharks. Joe could have waited a year to test the free agency market but instead took a deal that paid him fair market value but also left money on the table for the Sharks to sign other key players like Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle to long term deals.
That’s Joe Thornton; he’ll try and do what he can to make his team better. He has the rare combination of size, skill, hockey sense and toughness that make him such a complete hockey player. It’s easy to take for granted how good Joe really is, especially his on-ice vision and passing ability. He makes plays every game that most players in the NHL can’t make, and it’s usually setting someone up for a great scoring chance.
Joe’s stats and individual accomplishments including winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP are well documented, but there are other factors that show Joe’s team first mentality and why he has been such a huge part of the San Jose Sharks organization since being traded on Nov 30, 2005.
Joe has only missed 5 regular season games since being traded to San Jose and has never missed a playoff game. Of the 5 missed games 2 were due to a leg injury in 2010 and the other 2 games were missed because of a suspension.
Joe has changed his game over the years as he has adapted to the newer faster NHL and in doing so has become a 3-zone, 200 foot player that shuts down other teams top players, wins faceoffs and is a leader in takeaways.
Joe has helped other players have career years, just ask Jonathon Cheechoo and remains a team first player who’s only goal now is to bring the Stanley Cup to San Jose. It’s a dream for a lot of die-hard Sharks fans and I know I would love to see it happen for the fans, for Doug Wilson and his staff, for Todd McLellan and the coaching staff but most of all for guys like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau who have met so much to the Sharks organization for so long. As Jumbo is often heard saying, “For the boys!”