Sharks icon Joe Thornton officially retires from NHL in heartfelt post

Sharks icon Joe Thornton officially retires from NHL in heartfelt post

Sharks icon Joe Thornton officially retires from NHL in heartfelt post originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

After 24 seasons in the NHL, former Sharks captain Joe Thornton has officially announced his retirement from the NHL.

Thornton made the announcment on Saturday afternoon on a video posted by the Sharks' social media accounts, officially closing the book on the career of one of the most beloved athletes in Bay Area history.

"Hey, judging how many people keep asking me, I guess I have to tell you, I'm officially retiring from the NHL," Thornton said. "I thought you guys would have figured out sooner, but you kept asking, so here I am retiring. I have so much love for the game of hockey and for countless number of people that helped this kid's dream become a reality. And if you're looking for me, you know where to find me. I'll be at the rink. Peace and love."

Thornton, affectionally known as "Jumbo," was selected by the Boston Bruins with the first-overall pick of the 1997 NHL Draft.

After spending parts of eight seasons with the Bruins, a blockbuster trade with the Sharks brought Thornton to San Jose in November 2005, where he remained a franchise icon for the next 15 years.

Thornton's impact on the Sharks organization was felt immediately, recording a league-leading 125 points during his first season with the team while winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player in the 2005-06 season.

Thornton would go on to appear in 1,248 games for San Jose and was the team's captain for four seasons from 2010-11 through 2013-14.

Jumbo's 1,055 points he recorded during his time in San Jose ranks second all-time in Sharks franchise history, and his 804 assists rank comfortably at the top for a franchise that was long synonymous with their bearded power forward.

After leaving San Jose following the 2019-2020 NHL season, Thornton would have stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers, with his last NHL appearance coming on May 5, 2022.

Thornton ends his illustrious career as the 12th-highest scorer in NHL history with 1,539 points across 1,714 regular-season appearances.

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