SAN JOSE – It was quite a coincidence on Dec. 1. The Sharks honored Patrick Marleau for scoring his 1000th point in the NHL in a pregame ceremony, but it was also the 10-year anniversary of the club acquiring their other franchise cornerstone, Joe Thornton.
On Dec. 1, 2005, the Sharks gained the likely future Hall of Fame center from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm.
“Goes by fast. Goes by fast,” Thornton said Tuesday morning.
“I’ve loved it. I’ve loved my time out here. What can I say? I love this place.”
Thornton and Marleau, the top two picks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, have been linked in teal ever since Thornton moved across the country.
“He was my first roommate when I got here,” Thornton said. “We roomed together even though we probably could have gotten [our own] rooms, but we stayed together. He’s just a super guy, a great friend, and super hockey player. He does it all for us.”
Tommy Wingels said: “The two of them have put this team on the map I think. Jumbo, he's as good of a player as I've seen. It's an honor to have been able to play with him a couple years. I think the fans here in San Jose are lucky to have a player of his caliber here."
Thornton has been a popular figure with Sharks fans since his arrival, and all indications are he remains that way. When he got into a spat with Doug Wilson last season, for example, the large majority of the fan base seemed to support him over the general manager.
Does he sense that love from the San Jose fans?
“Yeah, they’ve always been great,” he said. “They’ve embraced me since the first day I got here, and it’s really turned into quite a hockey town. It’s been great. What can I say? I love them, and they’ve loved me back.”
In 778 career games with the Sharks, Thornton has 192 goals and 628 assists for 820 points. He continues to move up the NHL's all-time scoring list, sitting in 34th place with 1274 career points.