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Joe Thornton's San Jose Sharks timeline -- the good, the bad and the unforgettable

Mercury News — Curtis Pashelka Mercury News

Oct. 17-- Oct. 17--Some newsmaking moments in Joe Thornton's 15 years with the San Jose Sharks.

Nov. 30, 2005 -- In one of the most lopsided trades of the 2000s, general manager Doug Wilson deals Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart to the Boston Bruins for Joe Thornton. "I was blindsided," Thornton said at the time.

Dec. 2, 2005 -- Thornton plays his first game with the Sharks in Buffalo. Thornton has two assists, both on goals by Jonathan Cheechoo, as the Sharks win 5-0. San Jose, which was 8-12-4 before the trade, starts a six-game win streak in which Thornton has three goals and 11 assists.

April 17, 2006 -- Thornton finishes the regular season with 125 points, two more than Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers, to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leader in points.

June 22, 2006 -- In a close vote among members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, Thornton wins the Hart Memorial Trophy as the "player judged most valuable to his team" Thornton finishes with 1,058 points. Jagr has 974.

Feb. 28, 2010 -- Team Canada members Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Dany Heatley beat Joe Pavelski and Team USA 3-2 in overtime in the Gold Medal Game at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Oct. 7, 2010 -- Coach Todd McLellan announces that Thornton has been named the Sharks' captain.

April 8, 2011 -- Thornton records his 1,000th NHL point, scoring a goal on Ilya Bryzgalov in what was a 4-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Thornton is named the 78th player in NHL history to score 1,000 points.

April 25, 2011 -- In the first round of the playoffs, Thornton's overtime goal gives the Sharks a 4-3 victory over Los Angeles, as San Jose eliminates the Kings in six games.

Oct. 21, 2011 -- Plays his 1000th NHL game. Thornton has a goal and an assist in a 4-3 Sharks win over the New Jersey Devils.

Summer 2014 -- Just months after they are reverse-swept by the Kings in the playoffs, losing four straight after winning the first three games of the series, the Sharks strip Thornton of the captaincy.

March 13, 2015 -- Explaining why Thornton was stripped of the captaincy, GM Doug Wilson tells season ticket holders, "he carries the weight of the team on his shoulders and he's got such a big heart that when stress comes on him he lashes out at people, and it kind of impacts them." Thornton reacted the next day, saying, "I think Doug just needs to shut his mouth, I think that's the bottom line." Wilson and Thornton later patch things up.

May 25, 2016 -- Thornton and the Sharks advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time, beating the St. Louis Blues in six games. The Sharks, though, would lose the Cup final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

March 6, 2017 -- Recorded his 1,000th career assist at Winnipeg, becoming just the 13th player in NHL history to accomplish the feat.

April 2, 2017 -- Thornton suffers a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee right before the playoffs start in a game with the Vancouver Canucks. Remarkably, he returns just two weeks later and plays in four playoff games with the Edmonton Oilers. The Sharks lost the first round series in six, and Thornton has surgery shortly after the season ends.

July 2, 2017 -- Marleau and Thornton, both free agents, are courted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Marleau signs a three-year with the Leafs, but Thornton returns to San Jose on a one-year deal, famously signing the contract as he sat on top of an industrial-grade lawn mower.

Jan 23, 2018 -- Thornton again suffers a torn ACL and MCL, this time in his right knee, in a game vs. Winnipeg. He misses the rest of the season, although he would go through pregame warm-ups with the Sharks before some playoff games.

April 3, 2019 -- Thornton assists on Marcus Sorensen's goal in a 3-2 win over Edmonton, giving him 1,063 assists for his career and moving into a tie with his boyhood idol, Steve Yzerman, for eighth place on the NHL's all-time list (1,063). "He's the reason why I wear No. 19," Thornton said.

Feb. 4, 2020 -- Thornton becomes the 14th player to score 1,500 NHL points with two assists in a Sharks game against the Calgary Flames..

Oct. 16, 2020 -- Thornton signs a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Maple Leafs, ending a 15-year run with the Sharks.


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