Thornton, 42, signs one-year deal with Panthers

    Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

Star center Joe Thornton has signed a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers for the 24th season of his legendary career.

Thornton, 42, will earn $750,000 on the deal, with no bonuses or incentives.

“I think he looked at our roster, and he saw a fit with us, like we saw a fit with him,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito told ESPN.

Thornton is one of the most productive offensive centers in NHL history. He ranks 14th on the career points list with 1,529 and is five points away from being 12th overall. He is seventh in career assists with 1,104 in 1,680 games with the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Thornton ended a 15-year run in San Jose with his stint in Toronto last season, playing 44 games and amassing five goals and 15 assists. While his 13 minutes, 43 seconds on average was the lowest ice time of his career, Thornton played up in the lineup with star Auston Matthews and down in the team’s bottom six as well — versatility that Zito cited as a reason for pursuing Thornton.

“His drive to succeed is unmistakable, and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club,” Zito said.

Thornton has been practicing with HC Davos of the Swiss National League during the offseason.

He was a teammate of Panthers executive Roberto Luongo on the 2010 Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team that won gold in Vancouver.

Source: Read Full Article