Joe Thornton tested the free-agent market last summer before ending up back in San Jose on a one-year William Jackson Jersey , $8 million deal.
If Thornton has his way this offseason, he’ll sign with the Sharks again before hitting the open market, even if it has to be on another short-term deal.
”It’s no secret I’m a Shark,” Thornton said Tuesday. ”I bleed teal and I want to come back and I know I’m going to be healthy when I come back. I’m sure we can figure something out, but I want to come back.”
Thornton spoke as the Sharks packed up for the summer following a second-round loss to Vegas. Thornton missed that series with a major right knee injury that had sidelined him since Jan. 23 but expects to be fully recovered by next season.
Thornton turns 39 in July but still was performing at a high level before tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in January. Thornton had a similar injury to his left knee late last season and played four playoff games before offseason surgery but wasn’t able to make it back this year.
”I don’t think there’s a player that I’ve met in 40 years in this business that I respect more than Joe Thornton,” general manager Doug Wilson said. ”He’s incredible. … I look forward to sitting down with Joe and his agent very quickly. He’s an inspiring man, what he’s done to this organization. He was playing really well prior to getting hurt, and even his leadership after, being around the guys and what he does. He’s a special, special guy.”
Thornton said he’s willing to sign a one-year deal again and would be willing to take less money if it helped the team acquire other players.
While Thornton started slowly this season as he worked his way back from surgery in April 2017, he was back to his usual form by late November. He had 11 goals and 15 assists in his final 28 games before the injury.
Thornton has been a leader ever since arriving in San Jose in 2005 and is the greatest player in franchise history. He ranks 12th in NHL history with 1 Corey Moore Jersey ,030 assists and is 16th with 1,427 points. With seven more games, Thornton will become the 19th player to reach the 1,500-game mark for a career.
”I think we’re all blessed to play with a guy like that on the ice, off the ice,” defenseman Brent Burns said. ”He’s one of the legends of the game, statistically, on-ice talent and what he does for everybody off the ice. He’s definitely the best teammate I’ve ever played with. We’d be lucky to have him.”
Thornton’s pending free agency is just one of the key decisions the Sharks will have to make this offseason. Midseason acquisition Evander Kane also can hit the market this summer. If he signs, they owe Buffalo a first-round pick in 2019. If he leaves, that pick becomes a second-rounder.
Kane provided a major boost when he was acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline in February. He had nine goals and five assists in 17 games, providing needed speed and physicality on San Jose’s top line.
That carried over to the first round when he had three goals and an assist in a sweep against Anaheim but Kane wasn’t nearly as effective against Vegas as he played through injuries to his knee and shoulder.
”I think he’s a difference-maker Christian Jones Jersey ,” Wilson said. ”He came in here, and I talk about our leadership and our culture, I think he really appreciated that. We appreciated him. I think it was a good fit for him, it was a good fit for us.”
Eric Fehr is another potential free agent who could be back, while forwards Joel Ward and Jannik Hansen are expected to leave this summer. San Jose also must reach deals with restricted free agents Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney, and can begin negotiating extensions with captain Joe Pavelski and center Logan Couture in July.
The Sharks have plenty of projected salary cap room to make those moves and also could look to add a big-ticket player like John Tavares of the New York Islanders if he hits the open market.
”I’m excited for this team,” Thornton said. ”A lot of guys made big leaps this year. I’m sure teams are always adding new things or trying at least to add new things. But if you’re a Shark fan, you’ve got to be excited for this team still.”
Ryan McMahon turned a small adjustment into a big return for the Colorado Rockies.
McMahon tweaked his swing early in the afternoon and then hit a go-ahead, three-run homer to help rally the Rockies past the New York Mets 10-8 on Wednesday night.
Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon also went deep, and Colorado’s struggling bullpen shut the door in the late innings.
”You need a bullpen to do what ours did tonight from the sixth on – put up zeros,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”That’s the expectation DeMarcus Ware Jersey , and that’s their expectation.”
Colorado trailed 8-6 when McMahon pinch-hit with two on and two outs in the fifth. He sent a 1-0 changeup from reliever Robert Gsellman into the Rockies’ bullpen to give Colorado the lead.
It was McMahon’s second homer of the season and it came just hours after he worked with hitting coach Duane Espy in the batting cage.
”I made a small adjustment today with my hands, just put them in a better position to get that shorter swing off, that flatter swing off,” McMahon said. ”Stood the bat up a little more and got instant results.
”It’s been a long time coming and it felt really good to come through for the guys.”
Gsellman (5-2) had given up just one home run in 16 road games prior to Wednesday.
”A changeup right down the middle and the hitter just did his job and hit it out of the ballpark,” he said. ”Got to execute the pitch.”
Bryan Shaw (3-5) got one out to earn the win. Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 21st save this season – and the 100th of his career.
New York took an 8-6 lead with a four-run fifth. The Mets batted around for the second time in the game and benefited from three walks in the inning, including one to Brandon Nimmo with the bases loaded.
Dominic Smith, who tripled in the fifth, had a career-high three hits for New York and was a home run short of the cycle.
The Mets loaded the bases in the sixth against lefty Harrison Musgrave but pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki grounded into an inning-ending double play to Arenado at third.
”The sixth got a little dicey, but zeros nevertheless,” Black said. ”That’s how you win games.”
Neither starter lasted long in another high-scoring game at Coors Field. The Mets scored three in the first and another in the second to take a 4-1 lead, but Colorado tied it with three unearned runs in the second.
The Rockies went ahead 6-4 in the third on RBI singles by Gerardo Parra and Tom Murphy.
Mets: RHP A.J. Ramos had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. … Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the results of OF Jay Bruce’s MRI revealed a right hip strain and the team will decide on a plan soon. … RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained ligament in right index finger) threw before batting practice.
Rockies: LHP Mike Dunn (rhomboid strain) threw live batting practice and said he had no ill effects. Dunn said he threw about 20 pitches. If he feels good Thursday Marqise Lee Jersey , Black said Dunn could go on a rehab assignment this weekend. … RHP Scott Oberg (back strain) could also go on a rehab assignment, Black said.
New York second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera was holding his left arm after tagging out Murphy on a steal attempt in the seventh inning. The trainer checked him over but Cabrera was able to stay in the game.
”He just landed hard on his left elbow,” Callaway said.
The Rockies have allowed eight or more runs in their last nine home games, which ties for the longest streak in big league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The 1894 St. Louis Browns were the last team to do it.
Before the game, the Mets recalled RHP Chris Flexen from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned RHP Hansel Robles to their top farm team.
In a matchup of left-handers, the Mets will send Steven Matz (3-4, 3.31 ERA) to the mound against Colorado hometown favorite Kyle Freeland (6-6, 3.59) in the finale of the four-game series Thursday afternoon.
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