It doesn’t sound like San Jose forward Joe Thornton is dying to test free agency next summer. According to his agent and brother, John, the 34-year-old star center is likely to end up remaining in a Sharks uniform beyond the 2013-14 season.
“I still think Joe is a franchise player but he’s not going to go for those big numbers,” John told ESPN’s Craig Custance yesterday. “On an open market, he would get large offers. I don’t think that’s what he’s looking for. I still see him being in San Jose after this year.”
Thornton is one of three big-name Sharks who can become a UFA next summer, the other two being Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle.
San Jose has already locked up young centers Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski to multi-year deals, leading many to wonder where the club sees Thornton fitting into its future plans.
Thornton’s cap hit for this season is $7 million, with a salary of $6 million. Term, as well as the level of discount he’s willing to accept, should be the main deciding factors in whether he re-signs.