Florida Panthers sign ageless wonder Joe Thornton to one-year deal

The question as to whether or not Joe Thornton should hang up his skates this season has been answered.

Jumbo Joe is scheduled to take flight again in 2021-22. The Florida Panthers signed the veteran forward to a one-year contract on Friday.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Thornton, who began his NHL career with the Boston Bruins (1997-2005) before venturing to the San Jose Sharks (2005-20) and Toronto Maple Leafs (2020-21).

Reports indicate that it is for the league minimum of $750,000.

Panthers sign Joe Thornton

joe thornton panthers
Jan 16, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs cente Joe Thornton (97) celebrates with team his goal scored in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

“With more than 1,600 games played in the NHL, Joe will bring a wealth of experience to our locker room and lineup,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a statement. “His drive to succeed is unmistakable and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club and that he believes in what we are building here in South Florida.”

Thornton, 42, recorded 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 44 games last season with the Maple Leafs.

The recipient of the Hart and Art Ross trophies in 2005-06, Thornton has collected 1,529 points (425 goals, 1,104 assists) in 1,680 career games. He was selected by Boston with the first overall pick of the 1997 NHL Draft.

Thornton is the NHL’s active leader in assists and points. He ranks seventh overall in assists and 14th in points in league history.

He began his NHL career with the Bruins before being traded to the Sharks for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart in November 2005.

Thornton captured an Olympic gold medal for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Games. He also was part of two championship teams in the World Cup of Hockey (2004, 2016).

–Field Level Media