There’s nothing new to report regarding the futures of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in San Jose, and it’s likely that it will remain quiet until the conclusion of the expansion draft on June 21, at the very least. It will be a couple more weeks, then, before the will-they-or-won’t-they return question gets answered. While the Sharks have to decide whether they want to bring one or both of the franchise cornerstones back, and at what cost, Thornton and Marleau will surely have options regardless of what San Jose potentially offers. Thornton is just one season removed from finishing fifth in voting for the Hart Trophy, while Marleau is coming off of a 27-goal season. Both want to keep playing and both will undoubtedly be in the NHL next season, in teal or otherwise. Here are some potential landing spots for the pair if they don’t end up returning to the Sharks. Joe Thornton, Nashville Predators After coming so close to winning the Stanley Cup, and likely to be a contender for the next several seasons, the Nashville Predators might be looking for that extra piece to put them over the top. Ryan Johansen (who idolized Thortnton growing up) is firmly entrenched as the top center, but center and captain Mike Fisher is a pending free agent that may be headed for retirement. If Fisher hangs them up, the Predators will surely be in the market for a centerman to replace him. It’s worth mentioning, too, that Thornton’s parents love Nashville, and often show up on the road when the Sharks visit the Music City. Maybe they could all celebrate a new contract on the rooftop at Tootsie’s. Patrick Marleau, Anaheim Ducks Marleau was open to joining the Ducks early in the 2015-16 season when he was disgruntled, something many longtime Sharks fans still like to ignore. The Sharks’ all-time leading scorer in a Ducks sweater? Impossible! If he prefers to stay close to home and the Sharks aren't an option, though, moving down the coast to Anaheim would obviously be a logical choice. The Ducks may be looking for a scoring winger after the expansion draft, too, as the speedy and durable Andrew Cogliano could be a target for the Golden Knights. Guess who else is speedy and durable? Joe Thornton, Dallas Stars The Stars are under new/old leadership, as head coach Ken Hitchcock is returning to his former home where he won a Stanley Cup in 1999.
Thornton, Marleau will have options if they don't return to Sharks
CSN Bay Area | Jun 16