How Healthy is Joe Thornton?
Joe Thornton’s return to the Sharks probably tops the lists of their worries heading into camp this year. Thornton, arguably made the largest impact out of the forwards group last year until his injury on Jan. 23rd. He tore both his right ACL and MCL which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Thornton was hitting his stride after coming off a similar injury he suffered during the end of the 2016 – 2017 season.
The Sharks survived without the 39 year old center, but were definitely hindered by his absence down the stretch. Realistically the San Jose Sharks should start to think beyond having Jumbo on the roster, but still it is difficult for one to imagine not having the old grey beard sporting a teal sweater. For years he has been the heart and soul of this club, and his presence on the ice and in the dressing room has been and still is the key to the Sharks success this season.
Thornton has been recovering from this injury for a long period and he claims in an interview on The Athletic by Sharks beat writer Kevin Kurz that he feels good coming into the upcoming season. It seems as if Jumbo feels confident in his abilities to produce for a team looking to compete for their first Stanley Cup.
This new line combination is an area of focus throughout this offseason and has the potential to become one of the most damaging lines in the NHL if Jumbo can stay healthy.