Sharks

Sharks players emotional after Thornton signs with Leafs

Sharks

On the ice, Joe Thornton might not be able to contribute like he did when he was younger, but off the ice, his value is immeasurable.

That's why the news that the Sharks icon signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday sent shockwaves through San Jose's dressing room.

Thornton, 41, spent the last 15 seasons of his career with the Sharks after coming over in a trade with the Boston Bruins in 2005. He will spend his 23rd NHL season playing closer to his London, Ontario hometown.

Shortly after the news broke, several of his now former Sharks teammates reacted on Twitter and to the media.

Thornton and Brent Burns have been inseparable since The Wookie was traded to the Sharks from the Minnesota Wild in 2011. It will be strange for Sharks fans not to see the two players in the same sweater.

Kevin Labanc, who just signed a new four-year contract with the Sharks, never has played on a team without Thornton, so the 2020-21 NHL season will be a new experience for him

Evander Kane posted a two-part tweet and even joked about Thornton returning to the Sharks some day.

Erik Karlsson made it clear that he wants more photos with Thornton.

Sharks captain Logan Couture and Burns spoke to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz about the departure of Thornton.

 

Even the Sharks' official Twitter account needed a little time to process the fact that Thornton won't be putting on a teal sweater again.

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It's safe to assume that most Sharks fans feel the same way as the players and the team. It's going to take a while to get over Thornton leaving the organization.