Beyond The Benches

Top 5 Teams Joe Thornton Could Go To

There is a pretty plausible rumor going around in the NHL world claiming that the San Jose Sharks will move their captain, Joe Thornton, before the end of the offseason. While “Jumbo Joe” does have a contract which features a no-trade-clause, the veteran center has stated he would be willing to waive that clause if he felt that he was no longer wanted in San Jose. While Thornton is a long time favorite in San Jose, posting 75+ points in his last seven seasons, the team is looking to find a way around their inability to advance to the finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Apparently, the San Jose Sharks believe that a miniature rebuild, focused around introducing a younger roster, is the way to do this. While there is nothing at all set in stone about the departure of Joe Thornton, it is certainly a possibility that him and San Jose reach a mutual agreement which allows them to utilize a younger lineup, and him to pursue a cup with another team before the end of his career.

Here is the Top 5 Teams Joe Thornton Could Go To:

5. Dallas Stars. Thornton could do tremendous things for this young, offensive-minded team in need of leadership. On one hand, you have developing wingers Nichushkin and Chiasson who would greatly benefit from a veteran center. On the other hand, you have high-scoring Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin who would also benefit greatly from someone known to dish the puck and make plays in extraordinary circumstances.

4. – Pittsburgh Penguins. With the likes of Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin occupying the center position of the first and second lines, Jumbo Joe doesn’t seem like an ideal fit for the Penguins. However, the Penguins are in need of some changes after repeated playoff disappointments, and the recent change in upper-management could potentially make room for Thornton. While it doesn’t seem to be Malkin’s preference, he IS available to play as a winger, which would be a lethal combo with Thornton at center.

3. – Chicago Blackhawks. As if the Hawks need any more firepower, they were one of the earliest teams rumored to be targeting San Jose’s Joe Thornton. While the extremely effective Patrick Sharp centers the teams second line, he is also coming off of a career-season where he led Chicago in points. For this reason, Thornton could provide a slightly lower cap hit than Sharp and is guaranteed to bring leadership to the relatively young Blackhawks team.

2. St. Louis Blues. If Thornton is looking to join a team contending for the Stanley Cup, look no further than the St. Louis Blues. Despite a first round exit this past year, the Blues look to be as deadly as even in the upcoming NHL season. After the team captain, David Backes, St. Louis is not particularly strong in the center department. Thornton could be a great fit for dishing passes to emerging wingers such as Tarasenko, Oshie, and Steen.

1. – New York Rangers. The Rangers proved their contender-status when they went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals during the 2013-14 NHL season. Additionally, Joe Thornton is buddies with the Rangers top-line winger, Rick Nash (the pair played in together in Switzerland during the last lockout). The key component that would make this a great fit is the fact that the NY Rangers just announced that they will be using a compliance buyout on second-line center Brad Richards.


Writer: Timmy Sclafani is a Sophomore Journalism student at Roger Williams University. He is not only passionate about hockey, but also film, biking, and music. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @tsclafani20