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Thornton opens the door to a trade out of San Jose at the deadline

Is this the end of West Coast Jumbo Joe? If so, where does he end up?

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It’s been a tough season for the San Jose Sharks and their fanbase. After an offseason in which general manager Doug Wilson locked up superstar Erik Karlsson to a long term contract, the team was expected to contend for a Stanley Cup championship. Sure, they lost their captain Joe Pavelski to free agency, but with a core of Karlsson, Brent Burns, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane, they should be able to persevere, right? Hell… they even brought Patrick Marleau back for another spin.

Then the season started…

The Sharks failed to gain any traction, mostly due to inconsistent goaltending from Martin Jones and Aaron Dell. Then head coach Pete DeBoer got fired. Then Couture went down with a long-term injury. Now Hertl is out for the season. For more on the Hertl injury and his timeline for recovery, see our report from earlier today by clicking here.

To sum things up, the hits just keep coming in the Bay Area.

Now, long-time Sharks veteran and fan favorite Joe Thornton is entertaining the possibility of a trade at the deadline.

Check out this little tidbit courtesy of NHL insider Elliotte Friedman:

Joe Thornton opened the door to the possibility of a trade, but told San Jose-area reporters he would need to think about it first. My guess is this: The only way the Sharks would even consider it is if it came at his request.

It's hard to imagine, but with the Sharks well out of the playoff picture and with their top players dropping like flies, could you blame Jumbo if he requested a trade? I mean… how great would it be to see him FINALLY hoist the Stanley Cup after a 20+ year career ala Raymond Bourque?

If Thornton does elect to make himself available, he’ll likely have a big say in where he ends up. Could he find himself back with the Boston Bruins? Or how about his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs? How good would Thornton look as a third or fourth line center with the Washington Capitals? Surely there are other contending teams out there who would love to add someone with Thornton's experience to their roster.

Stay tuned.