Saturday, March 2, 2024

Panthers sign veteran forward Joe Thornton to one-year deal

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Veteran forward Joe Thornton is returning to the NHL for at least one more season. On Friday, the Florida Panthers announced that the team has signed Thornton to a one-year contract.

The contract will pay Thornton $750,000, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

“With more than 1,600 games played in the NHL, Joe will bring a wealth of experience to our locker room and lineup,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a press release. “His drive to succeed is unmistakable and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club and that he believes in what we are building here in South Florida.”

Thornton is coming off a season with the Toronto Maple Leafs in which he scored five goals and registered 15 assists. In 23 NHL seasons, Thornton has recorded 1,529 points (425 goals and 1,104 assists) during his time with the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and Maple Leafs. 

The Bruins selected Thornton with the first overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft and has put together a Hall of Fame career. Thornton has appeared in six All-Star Games, won the Art Ross and Hart Trophy in 2006 and is the Sharks’ all-time assists leader.

Thornton has never won a Stanley Cup in his 23-year NHL career and will aim to chase one with a Panthers team that finished in second place in the Central Division last season.

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