When Doug Wilson went public after the San Jose Sharks’ disappointing playoff exit, he made it clear that he was not comfortable with the team’s status quo.
Changes must be made, and every option must be looked at, especially after the debacle that was the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Kings.
Just hitting the wires on Friday night was an interesting rumor that several NHL teams — at least six of them — are calling the Sharks to gauge their interest in trading Joe Thornton. The Toronto Sun reports that the Maple Leafs are among the teams interested, but warns against looking too much into it. GM’s often “check in” with each other to see which players may be on the trade block.
But just that mere mention alludes to the fact that the league believes Thornton is available, and the Sharks may look to deal their captain and arguably best player. Soon to be 35, Thornton is getting up there in age, but is still one of the best centermen in the league. Last season, he finished second in the league in assists with 65, and his 76 points ranked second on the team.
Although he signed a contract extension during last season, he may be ok with waiving it if the Sharks choose to trade him. A rumor surfaced last month that the Sharks could look to trade for Leafs’ defenseman Dion Phaneuf, and given that San Jose just dealt away Dan Boyle, there could be a fit there.
This is just the start of what is sure to be a long summer of offseason rumors and speculation for the Sharks, and parting ways with Thornton would sure create ripple effects throughout the organization.