Scott Billeck

Getty Images

Joe Thornton back with Sharks for another season

Joe Thornton will be back in a San Jose Sharks jersey this fall, his 22nd season in the NHL.

Thornton, 40, signed a one-year contract worth a reported $2 million for the 2019-20 season, which will be his 15th with the organization. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the contract has no bonuses, just straight salary.

The deal for the now-former unrestricted free agent continues a string of one-year contracts for Thornton, who has now signed them in three consecutive years.

“Probably play another 10 years,” Thornton quipped at the 2019 NHL Awards. “We’ll wait and see, but I’m thinking 5 to 10 right now. I got nothing else going on.”

Thornton scored 16 times and helped out on 35 others in 73 games last season, pushing his career points total to 1,478 as he passed Teemu Selanne and Stan Mikita to sit 14th on the NHL’s all-time scoring list.

Thornton needs 22 points to become the 14th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500-point milestone. He sits 53 points back of Paul Coffey for 13th on the all-time list and 55 back of Mark Recchi for 12th.

“Words cannot equate the impact that Joe has had on this franchise since his arrival in San Jose in 2005,” said general manager Doug Wilson in a release on the team’s website. “Joe is a generational player who seemingly blazes past an existing Hall-of-Famer with each game he plays. His leadership and dedication to the organization and his teammates is inspiring. He has the rare ability to make the players around him better and we’re excited to see him healthy and back wearing the Sharks crest.”

The Sharks have kept their summer dealings mostly in-house, highlighted by the long-term deal they struck with Erik Karlsson, along with restricted free agent deals with Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc, among others.

San Jose reached the Western Conference Final last season before an injury-depleted roster ultimately fell to the eventual Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues in six games.

The deal comes as a $3 million pay cut for Thornton, who made $5 million last season and $8 million the year prior. The Sharks have just over $2.6 million remaining under the salary cap and a roster of 22 players.

MORE:
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

PHT Stanley Cup Tracker: When Rob Thomas met Robert Thomas

St. Louis Blues
2 Comments

The PHT Stanley Cup tracker will keep tabs on how the St. Louis Blues spend their summer celebrating.

Sometimes, all the stars align.

Take for instance this past Sunday when Robert Thomas, the St. Louis Blues forward, walked on stage at a Rob Thomas concert at the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis with the Stanley Cup in his hands.

You’ll know the latter from his time as the frontman for Matchbox 20, or that one song he did with Carlos Santana at the turn of the century that as a massive hit.

The Blues’ Thomas had an eventful day with the Cup last week, including a surprise visit to the home of a family who lost all of their hockey gear in a house fire back in June, just days after the Blues hoisted Lord Stanley.

Thomas showed up to the door of the family’s temporary rental home on Wednesday.

“I can’t even imagine what they went through with the fire,” Thomas told stlouisblues.com. “To be able to help out in the little way that I can, bring them some happiness, it really makes you feel good inside.”

The family, with nine kids and a 10th on the way, was taken aback.

“This is incredible,” mother Collen Hanlon said. “For somebody who is famous and does this stuff to want to come here and hang out with our kids… it means so much. It makes the kids so happy. This is a dream come true and this is their wildest dream.

The PHT Stanley Cup tracker

 Week 1: Cup heads to the Canadian prairies
• Week 2: Stanley Cup heads east to Ontario
• Week 3: Pat Maroon takes Cup back to St. Louis for some toasted ravioli
• Week 4: Ryan O’Reilly celebrates with grandma
• Week 5: Perron and poutine; Allen gives back
• Week 6: Sanford takes Cup to school; Berube takes it to second home
• Week 7: From Russia to Indy Car


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

PHT Morning Skate: NHL only option for Rantanen; Coyne Schofield back in broadcast booth

Getty Images

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Restricted free agent Mikko Rantanen says the NHL is his only option this season. (NHL.com)

• Like seemingly every other player asked about teammates without new contracts, Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews is focused on improving game, not Marner’s contract. (Sportsnet)

• The Top 50 NHL players, as decided upon by NHL 20. (Screen Rant)

Sidney Crosby‘s jersey was the biggest seller last season. (Montreal Gazette)

• For the first time in decades, both the NHL and the NHLPA aren’t headed toward mutual destruction. (The Hockey News)

• NHL replaces partner in player, puck tracking. (ESPN)

Mitch Marner‘s contract status looms large over Leafs as camp nears. (CBC.ca)

• Kendall Coyne Schofield will join the San Jose Sharks TV broadcast team this season. (NHL.com)

• Sharks’ Evander Kane reflects on ‘thrilling’ Game 7 win over Vegas. (NBC Sports Bay Area)

• Nugent-Hopkins on Puljujarvi: ‘It’s too bad to see it going down this path’. (Sportsnet)

• Why the NHL’s ‘no soap operas’ ad totally misses the point. (FTW)

MORE:
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Marleau, Sharks reunion appears unlikely

Getty Images
2 Comments

It doesn’t appear a return to the San Jose Sharks will be in the cards for Patrick Marleau.

Marleau spent 19 years in the Bay Area before leaving in free agency two seasons ago to join the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs traded Marleau to the Carolina Hurricanes over the summer to clear cap space. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, bought out the remaining year on his contract, making him a free agent.

Reports suggested that Marleau would have liked to return to the city where he’s spent the majority of his career, but as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Wednesday, there doesn’t seem to be a fit.

It’s hard to imagine Marleau, who will turn 40 in 10 days, is shooting for big money given that he’s already getting paid, so it seems like the Sharks are the hesitant ones in this case. They have just under $4.7 million in cap space to work and, it’s assumed, Joe Thornton still to sign.

Thornton made $5 million last year, and even if Marleau would come on the cheap, it doesn’t appear possible to fit both aging players on the same roster.

Marleau had his worst statistical season since his rookie year (and not counting the 2012-13 lockout) with 16 goals and 21 assists after playing the full 82-game schedule for a sixth consecutive year.

Marleau’s agent said his client will pursue other opportunities. Even with his advanced age, there is sure to be suitors for a veteran like Marleau, who guys like Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews raved about.

If nothing else, Marleau brings leadership, durability and a mentoring presence to a locker room. Those things still count for something, and it likely comes on the cheap.

MORE:
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

PHT Morning Skate: Kane strips; Pettersson faster, stronger

Getty Images

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• NHLPA weighing risks of poking the bear. (TSN.ca)

• NHL expands reach into Russia with new streaming deal. (The Canadian Press)

Evander Kane strips down, opens up about race for ESPN The Magazine’s BODY Issue. (The Undefeated)

• Maple Leafs’ Andersen ready to embrace load management once 2019-20 gets underway. (Toronto Sun)

• Laine, Connor could miss camp, but Jets claim it won’t be a distraction. (NHL.com)

• Morrissey would love to play his whole career with Jets. (Winnipeg Sun)

• Pettersson feeling quicker, stronger after summer of conditioning. (Sportsnet)

• New quarterback can help Oilers power play be magic, as opposed to tragic. (Edmonton Journal)

• Top NHL teams seek size after playoff failures. (Yahoo Sports)

• The Devils were one of the unluckiest teams in the NHL last season. (All About the Jersey)

• Sportsnet can’t dig out of hole created by NHL contract. (Troy Media)

MORE:
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck