Sharks

Jumbo says goodbye to Sharks, signs one-year deal with Leafs

Sharks

Joe Thornton's time in the Bay has come to an end.

The 41-year-old center signed a one-year contract to join the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, the Maple Leafs announced via Twitter.

According to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, Thornton's contract with the Leafs is for $700,000 and includes a no-movement clause.

It should come as no surprise that the Leafs pursued Thornton. Toronto made a run at him during his free agency in 2017, but Thornton elected to remain with the Sharks. Another Sharks icon, Patrick Marleau, who recently signed a one-year deal to return to San Jose, signed a three-year deal with the Leafs that offseason.

Thornton has been with the Sharks ever since arriving via a midseason trade from the Boston Bruins during the 2005-2006 season. In his 15 years with the Sharks, Thornton recorded 1,055 points (251 goals, 804 assists) and become one of the most beloved Sharks in franchise history.

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He was never able to help get the Sharks over the hump, though. Thornton was upset that he wasn't traded to a contender at the trade deadline this past season. At 41, it's easy to understand his desire to want to move on to a franchise he knows will be competing for a Stanley Cup title next season.

With the Leafs, Thornton likely will be slotted on the third line and have a chance to run on a power-play unit alongside young guns Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander

Thornton's jersey will one day hang in the rafters of SAP Center, but most just hoped his final NHL days wouldn't come in a color other than teal.