Injury has been added to insult for last season’s Stanley Cup runners up. The San Jose Sharks will have Joe Thornton undergoing surgery for a torn ACL, and MCL. After their loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of their first round playoff series, Jumbo Joe announced that he had been playing with the injuries since April 2nd and will be undergoing off-season surgery to repair both damaged ligaments in his left knee.
Joe Thornton Undergoing Surgery for Torn ACL, MCL
Thornton just completed his 19th season in the NHL, and it was his worst statistically in a full season since he was 19 years old. He totaled just seven goals and 50 points this season, which is still a respectable total for a player that is going to be 38 in July. He also had positive Corsi% and Fenwick% numbers at 53.9% and 54.4% respectively. Most players would be thrilled to have numbers that mirrored Thornton’s, but for a player that has posted three 100-point seasons and has won an Art Ross trophy during his illustrious career, seven goals and 50 points is a slight disappointment.
With the surgery just having taken place, there is no word on whether or not Thornton will be ready for the start of the next season. With his contract expiring at the end of this season, it will be interesting to see if Thornton chooses to hang up the skates, or seeks another short deal in San Jose or elsewhere as he is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
He still was an effective player on the first line for San Jose this season anchoring a line with Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau. It wouldn’t be surprising for San Jose to show loyalty to a player that brought them as close to a Stanley Cup as the franchise has been last year. As long as Jumbo Joe wants to keep lacing up the skates, he should have a spot on an NHL roster.
SAN JOSE, CA – DECEMBER 30: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks skates with the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers at SAP Center on December 30, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)