Sharks

Source: Sharks to sign Joe Thornton to one-year deal

Source: Sharks to sign Joe Thornton to one-year deal

UPDATE (5:57pm PDT on Sunday): The Sharks announced Sunday evening that they have re-signed Joe Thornton to a one-year deal. According to the Top Shelf Hockey agency, the deal is worth $8 million.

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SAN JOSE – The greatest player to ever lace up the skates for the San Jose Sharks organization, Joe Thornton will remain with the team on a one-year contract, NBC Sports California has learned.

TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that Thornton will earn "closer to $6.5 million than $6 million" in 2017-18 when the deal is finalized.

There was widespread interest around the league in Thornton, an unrestricted free agent, but in the end he chose to return to the organzation with which he has spent the past 11-and-a-half seasons of his career. 

In 914 games with the Sharks, Thornton has 215 goals and a franchise-record 722 assists for 937 points. Since he was traded to the Sharks on Dec. 1, 2005, only Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have more points, and the Sharks’ winning percentage of .637 since the trade is the best mark in the NHL.
 
In 19 seasons in the NHL with the Sharks and Bruins, Thornton has 1,391 points, placing him 23rd all-time in NHL history. He is 13th all-time in league history with 1,007 assists.
 
In 2017-18, Thornton, who turns 38 on Sunday, posted seven goals and 43 assists for 50 points in 79 games.  He suffered torn ligaments in his left knee in a game in Vancouver on April 2, forcing him to miss the final three regular season games and first two games of the Sharks’ first round series loss to Edmonton. He returned in Game 3, somehow playing through a torn MCL and ACL, and underwent surgery on April 24.

Thornton, a six-time NHL All-Star, won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2006. He has represented Canada in the Olympics twice, winning gold in 2010, and was a member of Canada’s triumphant World Cup of Hockey teams in 2004 and 2016. He was named as the Sharks player of the year in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2015-16.

Watch Logan Couture give Sharks critical 1-0 lead in Game 6 vs. Vegas

Watch Logan Couture give Sharks critical 1-0 lead in Game 6 vs. Vegas

The Sharks didn't score early, but they did score first in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup playoff first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Logan Couture opened the scoring with nine seconds remaining in the first period Sunday. The Sharks center gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone for a partial breakaway, then beat Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for his fourth goal of the series. 

Couture's goal was historic for the Sharks. They had not scored the first goal at T-Mobile Arena in 10 previous regular-season and playoff meetings in Sin City. 

[RELATED: Burns named Norris Trophy finalist for third time in career]

The winner of every game this series scored the first goal, and the Sharks hope history repeats itself Sunday. They entered Game 6 trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, and need a win to keep their season alive for (at least) one more game. 

They have the critical lead. Now, it's about maintaining it.

Sharks' response to adversity will be critical in Game 6 vs. Vegas

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Sharks' response to adversity will be critical in Game 6 vs. Vegas

The Sharks have a tough task ahead of trying to fend off elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs in Game 6 of their first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. San Jose coach Peter DeBoer told reporters in Las Vegas before the game that his team isn't the only one to face adversity trailing 3-2 in a best-of-seven series.

But how the Sharks respond to that adversity -- whether it be mounting injuries or breakdowns against a hot Vegas offense -- that could be the difference in forcing a Game 7 or not.

"I think that's going on in every dressing room with every team playing right now," he said when asked if San Jose's injury woes through the first five contests give them any more of an edge. "I don't think we're at an advantage because we have more of it."

There also is, of course, the matter of the Sharks playing this potentially decisive game at T-Mobile Arena, which already has a reputation as one of the NHL's toughest barns in its second season. The Sharks have certainly had their fair share of trouble there, particularly in the Games 3 and 4 of this series. But as DeBoer reminded the press, the Sharks haven't always been down on their luck in Sin City.

"We've won in here before," DeBoer said. "We won in here in the playoffs last year, we won in here in the regular season this year." 

San Jose's bench boss added that his team's home isn't exactly easy for opponents to play in, either.

"I think it's the same as them coming into our building," he said. "You've got to deal with the momentum swings and the crowd getting into it, and the push we're going to see right off the bat." 

[RELATED: Burns named Norris Trophy finalist]

Scoring the first goal Sunday will be critical for both teams. The Sharks have won both games in which they scored first, but have all lost all three when the Golden Knights did -- as early as 16 seconds into the game. 

"The first goal is obviously important," DeBoer said. "If we don't get it, then how we respond to that is going to be critical."

At the end of the night, the Sharks' response to adversity could be the difference between winning or losing against a tough Vegas squad.

"You're down to the best of the best, and you're seeing around the league that anybody can beat anybody," DeBoer said. "You need depth, you need health, you need goaltending. It's a battle of attrition and we have to find a way here."