At long last, Sharks fans will get an opportunity to see Joe Thornton play on the ice at SAP Center in the 2021-22 NHL season. However, Jumbo won't be doing it in a teal sweater.
The longtime Shark signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers on Friday, the team announced.
Thornton and the Panthers are scheduled to face the Sharks twice during the upcoming season. First, the Sharks will play in Florida on Jan. 29, 2022. Jumbo then will make his long-awaited return to San Jose on Mar. 15 with the Panthers.
Thornton spent the abbreviated 2021 season with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, amassing 20 points over 44 games.
Jumbo signed with Toronto after spending the previous 15 seasons with the Sharks, playing over 1,100 games with San Jose.
Thornton remains the franchise's all-time leader in assists (804) and plus/minus (161). Jumbo also holds the single-season record for points after putting up 114 during the 2006-07 season.
Embarking on his 24th NHL season, Sharks fans should mark their calendars now if they'd like to see Thornton on the ice in San Jose.