Thornton’s agent doubts high cap projections will impact contract talks

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The NHL salary cap is projected to exceed $71 million in 2014-15, which is a bigger jump than previously expected and great news for players with expiring contracts.

Joe Thornton is a prime example of that, but he might not take advantage of the situation.

“I don’t think it impacts us,” Joe’s agent and brother, John Thornton said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

John predicted that people aren’t likely to be surprised by the type of deal his brother ends up signing. In the 34-year-old forward’s case, that likely means a three-year deal in the range of his current annual $7 million cap hit.

Aside from the shortened campaign, Thornton hasn’t recorded less than 70 points since he was limited to 66 contests in 2001-02. He’s off to another strong start this season with five goals and 34 points in 32 games.

Still, a higher salary cap will help the Sharks forward in another way. As John Thornton pointed out, it will make it easier for Sharks GM Doug Wilson to also re-sign forward Patrick Marleau and defenseman Dan Boyle.

“From our standpoint, I think Doug is trying to get all three done so it’s just a different circumstance,” the agent suggested.

If that’s the case, then the process is still in the preliminary stages. Marleau hasn’t had representation since his longtime agent Don Baizley passed away over the summer. Boyle has been in talks with the Sharks, but there’s no “real number” on the table, according to his agent.