It appears Joe Thornton won’t be attending San Jose Sharks training camp on a Professional tryout. At least not right away.
The Sharks released their training camp roster Tuesday afternoon and Thornton was not among the 34 forwards listed. The Sharks, who begin their first training camp under new coach David Quinn on Thursday, also have 19 defensemen and eight goalies coming to camp.
Thornton, 43, had taken part in some of the team’s informal ‘captains skates’ in San Jose this month, leading to some speculation that he might be rejoining the Sharks in some capacity. He skated with some of the more veteran players as recently as Saturday when the team was at Tech CU Arena, which is located right beside Sharks Ice.
“I think he’s still kind of sorting things out on what he wants to do and (we’ll) let him lead the way with that,” Sharks general manager Mike Grier said when asked about Thornton on ‘The Athletic Hockey Show’ podcast.
“I think right now he’s enjoying time with his family and being a dad, but he still likes being around the guys, so he’s been around the rink here practicing a little bit.”
Thornton played 1,104 games over 15 years with the Sharks from 2005 to 2020 and is the NHL franchise’s all-time leader in assists (804), points per game (0.96), and plus/minus (161).
Thornton has 1,539 career points over 24 NHL seasons, and with 1,714 career games, is second only to Patrick Marleau (1,779) on the league’s all-time list.
Thornton had 10 points in 34 games for the Florida Panthers last season, averaging just over 11 minutes of ice time per game.
Hey Jumbo! pic.twitter.com/O0zzpmfTOp
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 17, 2022
Grier isn’t sure if a Professional tryout with the Sharks is in Thornton’s future but added he’d like to have him and Marleau around the team in some way.
Grier said he’d be “happy” to talk to Thornton about a PTO, but “I honestly don’t know which way he wants to go, or where he’s leaning.” Grier and Thornton and Marleau were Sharks teammates from 2006-09.
“But, either way, or whatever he decides, he’s definitely someone I want to have around the organization, him and Patty. They’re two iconic players here who have a lot to offer the game, whether it’s playing or when they’re done playing, they’re guys I definitely want to have around to help me and be around the organization.
“So, we’ll have to see what (Thornton) decides to do. Like Jumbo, he always kind of beats to his own drum.”
Here is the roster and the schedule for the Sharks’ training camp. All practices are open to the public.
FORWARDS (34): Andrew Agozzino, Alexander Barabanov, Nick Bonino, Thomas Bordeleau, Ethan Cardwell, Brandon Coe. Logan Couture, William Eklund, Jonah Gadjovich, Liam Gilmartin, Noah Gregor, Danil Gushchin, Dillon Hamaliuk, Tomas Hertl, Luke Johnson, Luke Kunin, Kevin Labanc, Oskar Lindblom, Mark Liwiski, Steven Lorentz, Max McCue, Timo Meier, Matt Nieto, Adam Raska, Scott Reedy, Tristen Robins, Mitchell Russell, Nico Sturm, C.J. Suess, Evgeny Svechnikov, Max Veronneau, Jeffrey Viel, Jasper Weatherby, Ozzy Wiesblatt.
DEFENSEMEN (19): Matt Benning, Nick Cicek, Mario Ferraro, Jake Furlong, Artem Guryev, Scott Harrington, Santeri Hatakka, Patrick Holway, Erik Karlsson, Artemi Kniazev, Nikolai Knyzhov*, Samuel Mayer, Jaycob Megna, Ryan Merkley, Markus Nutivaara, Montana Onyebuchi, Derrick Pouliot, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
GOALIES (8): Mason Beaupit, Aaron Dell, Zachary Emond, Benjamin Gaudreau, Kaapo Kahkonen, Eetu Makiniemi, Strauss Mann, James Reimer.
Sept. 22: Sharks Rink (formerly South Rink) — Group A, 9 a.m; Group C – 10:30 a.m.; Tech CU Arena — Group B, 9 a.m.
Sept. 23: Sharks Rink — Group A, 9 a.m; Group C – 10:30 a.m.; Tech CU Arena — Group B, 9 a.m.
Sept. 24: Sharks Rink — Group A, 9 a.m; Group C – 10:30 a.m.; Tech CU Arena — Group B, 9 a.m.
Sept. 25: Sharks Rink — Non-game group, 10 a.m.; SAP Center — Game group, 4 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Kings
Sept. 27: Game group — morning skate, 10:30 a.m., Sharks Rink; Game vs. Anaheim Ducks, 7:30 p.m., SAP Center; Non-game group, noon, Sharks Rink.
Sept. 28: Non-game group — practice, 10 a.m., Sharks Rink; Game group — morning skate, 11:30 a.m., Sharks Rink; Game vs. Los Angeles Kings, 7 p.m., Toyota Arena (Ontario, CA).
Sept. 29: Full team practice, 11 a.m., Sharks Rink
Sept. 30: Anaheim group — 10:30 a.m., Sharks Rink; Game vs. Anaheim at Honda Center, 7 p.m.; Vegas group — 10:30 a.m., Gray Rink; Game vs. Vegas at T-Mobile Arena, 7 p.m.
All times and practice locations are subject to change.