Eventually, the Sharks will raise Joe Thornton's No. 19 to the rafters at SAP Center.
But in Jumbo's new chapter in Toronto, he won't be wearing that number on his back.
A day after Thornton signed with the Maple Leafs, the team tweeted out new numbers for the players they have added to the roster so far this offseason, and Thornton will be donning No. 97.
Jason Spezza, who just completed his first season with Toronto and signed a one-year contract extension on Oct. 5, wears No. 19 for the Maple Leafs.
Spezza actually offered No. 19 to Thornton over FaceTime but the Sharks legend refused to take the number.
Jason Spezza called Joe Thornton on FaceTime to offer up #19, but Jumbo declined and will wear #97 instead. 😅 pic.twitter.com/1Yu45lc3qU— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 18, 2020
According to Hockey-Reference.com, Thornton will be the first Maple Leafs player to wear No. 97 since tracking of sweater numbers began in the 1950-51 season.
Watching Thornton on the ice in a sweater other than the Sharks already was going to be weird for San Jose fans. Now, seeing him without No. 19 on his back will just make the whole scene so much stranger.