Skip to content

Report: Leafs interested in Sharks captain Thornton

Jun 7, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

Joe Thornton Getty Images

The trade speculation swirling around San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton has taken a turn for the dramatic and that’s all about who he’s being linked to.

Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have taken a shine to Jumbo Joe and they’re not alone. Zeisberger says at least six teams have taken an interest in the 35-year-old center.

The Leafs reasons for doing so should be obvious as the offensive potential of seeing Thornton at center between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk is enough to make anyone’s eyes pop.

Kessel and van Riemsdyk put up monster numbers this season with Tyler Bozak centering them. Van Riemsdyk had career-highs in goals (30) and points (61). The thought of having Thornton, who was second in the league in assists this season with 65, setting those two up could be enough to tickle GM Dave Nonis into action.

The Maple Leafs are also intriguing for this talk as they’ve got a pair of young players who might be readily available to be moved in defenseman Jake Gardiner and center Nazem Kadri. Both players had great numbers last season as well but may not be agreeable to coach Randy Carlyle’s system.

It’s idle speculation for now but the Sharks appear set to deal Thornton, who has a no-movement clause, and the Maple Leafs are ready to deal with just about anyone to improve the team.

The biggest issue here could be the age discrepancy between Thornton and the Leafs pair who each 23. Giving up youth for experience is a dangerous gamble.

Latest Posts
  1. Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier

    Sep 17, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    His agent says it’s best to leave town and avoiding being a distraction.

  2. Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler Getty Images

    “No matter how much my old teammates say it doesn’t bother them, it affects them. It does in that city.”

  3. In making case, Johansen’s agent stresses importance of top centers

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    And on the possibility of his client signing an offer sheet? “Well, we’ll have to see.”

  4. Sharks re-sign Braun to five-year, $19 million deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Justin Braun Getty Images

    “Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen.”

  5. Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    “We’ve been told if we don’t give them what they want, they’ll be leaving town.”

  6. Sens angry with Methot’s agent for leaking ‘false’ contract details

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    MarcMethot Getty Images

    “I’ve been with the team for eight years, and I don’t know if I’ve been more disappointed about anything that’s been written,” said Pierre Dorion.

  7. Hiller: Final months with Ducks were ‘frustrating’

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    “I actually thought I had a great year up to the Olympic break and even after.”

  8. Agent: Staal, Rangers making progress towards contract extension

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Jussi Jokinen, Marc Staal AP

    “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it.”

  9. Report: Ryan turned down Sens’ seven-year, $49M offer

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 1: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 1, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Yet he says his contract status won’t be an issue this season.

  10. Gunnarsson hopes to be ready for opening night

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Carl Gunnarsson

    The Blues acquired him from Toronto.

  11. Columbus Blue Jackets win 2014 Traverse City tournament

    Sep 17, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT

    Josh Anderson Getty Images

    Those prospects could get longer looks if Ryan Johansen misses the preseason.

  12. Hard-luck Hillen ‘100 percent’ after staph infection

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:22 PM EDT

    hillenhelpedoffgetty Getty Images

    Caps blueliner has had bad luck in the health department.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1399)
  2. J. Quick (1356)
  3. S. Bennett (1340)
  4. P. Rinne (1253)
  5. K. Timonen (1213)