Unrestricted Free Agent Joe Thornton has joined HC Davos of the Swiss National League, but says he will return to North American once the 2020-21 NHL season resumes.
Thornton, 41, first played for HC Davos during the lockout of 2004-05. During his playing time in Davos, he met his wife, Tabea. He and His family have been returning to the area each offseason.
According to a statement from Davos, Thornton will be playing for “modest compensation.”
“Due to the currently tense economic situation at the Hockey Club Davos, Joe Thornton has agreed that any modest compensation can only be made next season.”
— Hockey Club Davos (@HCDavos_off) October 15, 2020
Thornton, who holds a Swiss passport, has been training with Davos since July. He’s played for the club during the past two NHL lockouts and has 22 goals and 90 points in 73 career National League games.
The 41-year-old is currently an unrestricted free agent in the NHL. While a return to the San Jose Sharks, who he’s played with for the last 15 years, is possible, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are also interested in adding the St. Thomas, Ont., native.
“Hearing several core Maple Leafs have personally pitched Joe Thornton on going to Toronto. The courtship is on and the interest is real,” Friedman wrote in his latest 31 Thoughts blog. “But one thing I’ve always been told about the future Hall of Famer: do not underestimate his loyalty to San Jose.”
By Jon Sorensen