Sharks captain Joe Thornton was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, but it appears that he’s not about to go hitting the open market. The Sharks announced this afternoon that they’ve signed Thornton to a three-year contract extension worth $21 million.
Thornton taking a deal worth $7 million a year is a rather captain-like thing to do considering his current cap hit is good for $7.2 million. It’s just a $200,000 difference, but as other teams have proven this off-season, every little bit counts when it comes time to get under the cap.
Some were curious that Thornton was named the team captain when there was the outside possibility that he could leave at the end of the year as a free agent, but it’s clear that that was never going to happen. Thornton’s career in San Jose since being dealt there by Boston has been loaded with personal statistical success including a league MVP trophy, but the Stanley Cup continues to elude him. If Thornton wasn’t feeling the pressure to win before, he certainly is now that he’s the team’s leader on the ice and he’s going to be there for the next few years.
An interesting note to take thanks to CapGeek, it sets up the off-season after the 2013-2014 season as a fascinating one for the Sharks as each of Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Joe Pavelski, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Doug Murray each have their contracts come to an end. That makes for one hell of a free agent class just from one team and with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to deal with, who even knows if all those guys will still be there.
Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.