Joe Thornton tested the free-agent

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laiyongcai92
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Joe Thornton tested the free-agent

Post by laiyongcai92 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:23 pm

SAN JOSE Aaron Ekblad Jersey , Calif. (AP) market last summer before ending up back in San Jose on a one-year, $8 million deal.If Thornton has his way this offseason, he’ll sign with the Sharks again before hitting the open market, even if it has to be on another short-term deal.”It’s no secret I’m a Shark,” Thornton said Tuesday. ”I bleed teal and I want to come back and I know I’m going to be healthy when I come back. I’m sure we can figure something out, but I want to come back.”Thornton spoke as the Sharks packed up for the summer following a second-round loss to Vegas. Thornton missed that series with a major right knee injury that had sidelined him since Jan. 23 but expects to be fully recovered by next season.Thornton turns 39 in July but still was performing at a high level before tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in January. Thornton had a similar injury to his left knee late last season and played four playoff games before offseason surgery but wasn’t able to make it back this year.”I don’t think there’s a player that I’ve met in 40 years in this business that I respect more than Joe Thornton,” general manager Doug Wilson said. ”He’s incredible. … I look forward to sitting down with Joe and his agent very quickly. He’s an inspiring man, what he’s done to this organization. He was playing really well prior to getting hurt, and even his leadership after, being around the guys and what he does. He’s a special, special guy.”Thornton said he’s willing to sign a one-year deal again and would be willing to take less money if it helped the team acquire other players.While Thornton started slowly this season as he worked his way back from surgery in April 2017, he was back to his usual form by late November. He had 11 goals and 15 assists in his final 28 games before the injury.Thornton has been a leader ever since arriving in San Jose in 2005 and is the greatest player in franchise history. He ranks 12th in NHL history with 1 http://www.floridapanthersteamshops.com ... kov-jersey ,030 assists and is 16th with 1,427 points. With seven more games, Thornton will become the 19th player to reach the 1,500-game mark for a career.”I think we’re all blessed to play with a guy like that on the ice, off the ice,” defenseman Brent Burns said. ”He’s one of the legends of the game, statistically, on-ice talent and what he does for everybody off the ice. He’s definitely the best teammate I’ve ever played with. We’d be lucky to have him.”Thornton’s pending free agency is just one of the key decisions the Sharks will have to make this offseason. Midseason acquisition Evander Kane also can hit the market this summer. If he signs, they owe Buffalo a first-round pick in 2019. If he leaves, that pick becomes a second-rounder.Kane provided a major boost when he was acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline in February. He had nine goals and five assists in 17 games, providing needed speed and physicality on San Jose’s top line.That carried over to the first round when he had three goals and an assist in a sweep against Anaheim but Kane wasn’t nearly as effective against Vegas as he played through injuries to his knee and shoulder.”I think he’s a difference-maker,” Wilson said. ”He came in here Evgenii Dadonov Jersey Kids , and I talk about our leadership and our culture, I think he really appreciated that. We appreciated him. I think it was a good fit for him, it was a good fit for us.”Eric Fehr is another potential free agent who could be back, while forwards Joel Ward and Jannik Hansen are expected to leave this summer. San Jose also must reach deals with restricted free agents Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney, and can begin negotiating extensions with captain Joe Pavelski and center Logan Couture in July.The Sharks have plenty of projected salary cap room to make those moves and also could look to add a big-ticket player like John Tavares of the New York Islanders if he hits the open market.”I’m excited for this team,” Thornton said. ”A lot of guys made big leaps this year. I’m sure teams are always adding new things or trying at least to add new things. But if you’re a Shark fan, you’ve got to be excited for this team still.”— The NHL’s return to Winnipeg has been an instant success in the seats, with regular sellouts since the Jets arrived in 2011 for a second landing in the smallest market in the league.Progress on the ice has been measurably slower, with just one appearance in the playoffs in the first six years in wintry Manitoba after a struggling franchise moved north from Atlanta, but the patience of general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has been rewarded and then some this season.Sporting the second-best record in the NHL, the Jets have carried the momentum of 11 wins in their last 12 games into their first-round series against Minnesota.They boast one of the game’s coveted prodigies in 19-year-old Patrik Laine and his 44 goals. They have a balanced roster that ranked second in the league in scoring and fifth in fewest goals against. They face the Wild on Wednesday night at home, where they’re an NHL-best 32-7-2 this season.”Enjoy it Youth Jamie McGinn Jersey , right?” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”We work real hard to get to a place where there’s mounting pressure and mounting enthusiasm, and then we want to keep working to get to more and more and more. So you have to be a part of it. You have to enjoy it for sure.”Their time to take a big step forward to join the league’s elite has arrived. They even, considering their seed, represent the best hope to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993.Toronto is the only other team that made the playoffs this year, and the Maple Leafs must start the first round on the road against the Boston Bruins.”You don’t know how many times you’re going to come across this opportunity,” goalie Connor Hellebuyck said, ”and especially now with the great team like we have here. I’m really excited to see what these guys bring.”With another series of ”Whiteout ” events planned for Bell MTS Place, with fans encouraged to wear white team gear to the arena and surrounding parties, the city has been buzzing all week even as winter again overstays its welcome.”I’m very excited. I can start feeling my body getting those butterflies,” Hellebuyck said.The knock against the Jets is the collective lack of postseason experience, with a four-game sweep by the Anaheim Ducks in 2015 serving as the only action in the playoffs for some of these players. Laine hadn’t even been drafted yet.That’s where the Wild have a clear advantage, with this their sixth straight appearance in the 16-team tournament.Though they were overshadowed in the Western Conference this season by the Jets Womens Jared McCann Jersey , the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Nashville Predators and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, the Wild posted the third-best record in franchise history. Center Eric Staal had 42 goals, his most in 12 years. Jason Zucker scored a career-high 33 goals. Their defensemen ranked second in the league with 200 points.”You really got to go through it to know what it’s about,” left wing Zach Parise said, adding: ”I know they’ve been short-lived the last couple years, but you hope with just being there that will help us.”Here are some other key angles to follow with the series:PALS IN PADSHellebuyck and Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk met last summer in British Columbia during training sessions and rounds of golf that forged a friendship, with Dubnyk encouraging Hellebuyck to keep his head up after the Jets signed Steve Mason to an $8.2 million contract.Sure enough, Mason stumbled early and Hellebuyck supplanted him as the primary netminder to tie for the NHL lead with 44 wins and finish eighth in goals-against average.”It’s been fun to watch but that’s enough now,” Dubnyk said. ”It’s been a great year for him, but I’ll stop cheering for him now.”SUTER OUT, SPURGEON INOne of the Wild’s greatest assets for this matchup will be absent, with a season-ending broken ankle for stalwart Ryan Suter Jonathan Huberdeau Jersey , who tied a franchise defenseman record with 51 points in 78 games.The upside is that Jared Spurgeon, who missed the last 17 games with a torn hamstring, is on track to return. He practiced with one of the two power-play units on Tuesday, and coach Bruce Boudreau said he’d make a game-time decision about Spurgeon’s availability on Wednesday.WHEELS UPJets captain Blake Wheeler tied for the NHL lead with 68 assists this season and finished ninth with 91 points, fueling a potent first line with Kyle Connor and Mark Schiefele to take some of the scoring pressure off Laine.Wheeler played at Breck High School in the Twin Cities area and in college for Minnesota before turning pro. He has never missed more than three games in any regular season since his debut with Boston in 2008-09.CULLEN’S CUPSWild center Matt Cullen contributed a modest 11 goals and 11 assists from the fourth line, but the 41-year-old’s contribution transcends points. He’s played in 123 postseason games, winning three Stanley Cups including the past two with the Pittsburgh Penguins.”This is why we got him, his experience in positions like we’re in right now,” Boudreau said. ”So we’re hoping he’s going to be valuable.”—

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