Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have one thing missing from their Hall of Fame résumés: A Stanley Cup championship.
Marleau now has the chance to become a champion after the Sharks traded the franchise icon Monday to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Another legend was left behind, though. The Sharks held on to Thornton, and he doesn't seem too happy about that decision.
Joe Thornton: “As you get older you realize you only have so many shots at this thing, and it would have been nice to have a chance. ... I wanted a shot. I’ve been hunting this thing down for 22 years.”— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) February 25, 2020
Thornton, 40, will have to wait yet again to become a champion. The Sharks (26-32-4) are well out of playoff contention as they enter Tuesday with the third-worst record in the Western Conference. The four-time All-Star admitted to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz on Saturday that he was enticed by the idea of joining a contender at the deadline.
“Yeah, obviously I was willing to go somewhere, and try to win my first Stanley Cup,” Thornton added on Tuesday. “I’ve been dreaming about that ever since I can remember and it just didn’t come to fruition, for whatever reason. I wanted to get something back for the Sharks obviously to help them continue this process with young guys. It just didn’t work out.”
Thornton scored two goals Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers. While trade rumors swirled, Jumbo Joe was busy doubling his goal total for the season, further proving he could help a team that's out to win the Cup.
The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, however, reported Tuesday that the NHL's elite likely weren't inquiring about a Thornton trade.
There was interest in Thornton yesterday, from 3-4 teams, but I don't think they were the elite Cup contending teams he would have waived for. Which is to say, I don't believe Boston, Vegas or Colorado inquired with San Jose. https://t.co/XUTTw1RJR7— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 25, 2020
While his wish didn't come to fruition, Thornton made it clear Tuesday he's still happy to be a Shark. He also believes this isn't his last season in the NHL.
One thing is for certain: Thornton knows he still has more left in the tank, but he will have to continue waiting for the title he so badly covets.