SUNRISE, Fla. —Your career might be over. Or not.
This veteran center recently completed his 24th NHL season and his first with The NHL.Wednesday, he said that he is unsure whether he will retire or continue to play.
Thornton explained, “My wife was kind of asking” “And, really, I don't know what my plans are. It's quite exciting. We didn't win the championship I wanted. But the Florida Panthers will be great for a long period of time, I believe. It's exciting here right now.”
The question is, will Thornton be part of this excitement?
Thornton (43 years old) was the second-oldest person to skate in a season's game.defenseman He turned 45 in March, and just finished his 24th season in league.
They were among four 40-year-olds who played in games this season.goalie He was just a month away from turning 41 when he made the final appearance of the season. goalie In March, he turned 40.
Thornton stated, “I've been privileged” to play the game for a long period. “I don’t take anything for granted.”
Long-termrunning mate He announced his retirement earlier this year after having played 23 NHL seasons. Marleau broke Gordie Bynes' games played record and retired with 1,779 regular season games.
Thornton played 1,714 regular-season games with San Jose — the sixth most in history., Florida. Marleau would be allowed to keep his place in history, he joked recently.
Thornton played in 34 games for the Panthers this season. He scored five goals and added five assists.
Anton Lundell, Panthers forward said that everybody loves being around him. He's a very funny man and loves to work. You can see how much his passion for the sport is evident. He loves playing and it's obvious that he enjoys being with the boys. He won't take any days off.
Lundell was born October 3, 2001. Thornton was able to start his fifth NHL season just one day later.
Thornton selected the Panthers because he felt that coming to Florida was his best chance of winning his first Stanley Cup championship. The Panthers won and set records for goals, wins, and points. They also captured a playoff series, which was the first since 1996. But they were eliminated by the Second Round..
Andrew Brunette (Panthers interim coach) said, “Kinda wish I'd played alongside him.” Brunette was a 16-year veteran of the NHL before turning his attention towards coaching. “But, I got to coach with him, and that's been a great experience.”
Thornton was a part of only one playoff game for the Panthers. That was against the Lightning. He stated that he didn’t do the traditional handshakes at game's end thinking it might be the last moments of his active playing career.
Thornton stated, “I don't think about what-ifs,” to be completely honest. “I live in the present and just go with it.”
However, the Panthers will continue to believe they are a contender next season. Thornton might be interested in a 25th season if that happens.
Bill Zito, Panthers general manager, stated that “I think the whole world of Joe Thornton.”
Thornton ranks 12th in NHL regular-season history, scoring 1,539 points. The Hockey Hall of Fame has enshrined most of the NHL's top 33 scorers. Thornton is the only one who isn't., Because none of the four players mentioned above are eligible,