Joe Thornton returns to Sharks for 15th season, agrees to one-year contract

Ali Thanawalla
NBC Sports BayArea

Joe Thornton always wanted to keep playing, and on Friday, he got his wish.

The Sharks announced that they have agreed to re-sign the future Hall of Famer to a one-year contract.

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The deal between the two sides took a little bit longer than fans had hoped, but it got done. This is Thornton's third consecutive one-year pact with the Sharks.

"Words cannot equate the impact that Joe has had on this franchise since his arrival in San Jose in 2005," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "Joe is a generational player who seemingly blazes past an existing Hall-of-Famer with each game he plays. His leadership and dedication to the organization and his teammates is inspiring. He has the rare ability to make the players around him better and we're excited to see him healthy and back wearing the Sharks crest."

Thornton's contract will be for $2 million, according to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.

The 2019-20 season will mark Thornton's 22nd in the NHL and 15th with the Sharks.

At the age of 39, Thornton was just as productive as ever last season. In 73 games, he scored 16 goals and dished out 35 assists.

In an offseason when the Sharks allowed captain Joe Pavelski leave as a free agent, bringing Thornton back keeps a key leader and one of the greatest players in franchise history in the dressing room.

In August, longtime teammate Logan Couture said Thornton isn't close to hanging up his skates.

"He can't give it up, he works so hard, so the day he stops I'll be shocked," Couture told NHL.com. "When we lost to [the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final], I ran into him in the gym like nine days later and Jumbo had already been in there working out, and that was not his first day back. He loves the game, loves it, more than anyone."

[RELATED: Why Sharks should retire Thornton's sweater first]

The re-signing of Thornton caps off a productive offseason that saw general manager Doug Wilson bring back Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Dylan Gambrell and Antti Suomela.

Joe Thornton returns to Sharks for 15th season, agrees to one-year contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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