The San Jose Sharks have re-signed possible future Hall of Famer Joe Thorton to a one-year $6.5 million contract. The Sharks first signed him like a billion years ago, after he failed to make the Boston Bruins competitive. For many years Thorton http://www.espn.com/nhl/player/_/id/939/joe-thornton has played hard and consistent, but there is little reason to believe the Sharks can win a cup with him (even at a good priced contract) because he refuses to stand on front of the net and screen the goalie on offense. Ever since the NHL shrunk the distance behind the net , it has negatively impacted Thorton’s ability to play Wayne Gretzky style , dishing the puck for assists from behind the opposing net. This also explains his success in international play tournaments as opposed to NHL action.
Thorton has had many years to find a way to compensate for the rule change behind the net. Also the era he has led where the team has long hair and beards (like homeless people) has a negative effect on the team, which lacks focus. The Sharks would do well to deal Thorton to a team where he could have better chemistry. He never recovered from having Jonathan Cheechoo get injured into being a minor leager. Thorton needs a Cheechoo (in his prime ) type player to feed the puck to in front. Thorton and Pavelski used to have this magic somewhat, but it has faded.