Two Stanley Cup contenders already linked to Thornton in trade talks

Jumbo about to pull a Ray Bourque?

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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. Hertl went down and is out for the season. 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.

Friedman’s counterpart over at TSN, Frank Seravalli, who himself manages a  40 player trade board list, has also officially added Jumbo Joe to the list.

Check it out:

From Seravalli:

The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer is one of 13 intriguing new names added to the TSN Trade Bait board on Monday, including teammates Patrick Marleau and Barclay Goodrow.
Make no mistake: This will be Thornton’s call – and not only because Thornton holds the full no-move clause hammer. After 1,089 games in a Sharks uniform, it’s unlikely that GM Doug Wilson would go to Thornton asking him to consider a certain trade scenario.
All Thornton would have to do is let it be known that he is not interested in moving. End of story. So far, that has not happened, leading some close to him to believe that he’s feeling conflicted with two weeks to go until TradeCentre.
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? 

If Thornton does elect to make himself available, he’ll likely have a big say in where he ends up. But who are the contenders?

More from Seravalli:

Contenders are doing their homework behind the scenes. The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are two teams that have reportedly internally discussed the idea of adding Jumbo Joe to their lineup.
Could you imagine the scene of Thornton returning to where it all began in Boston? Fans were clamouring for a San Jose/Boston Stanley Cup matchup last summer when the Sharks made it to the Western Conference final.

Stay tuned.