With their devastating early exit from the playoffs in which they blew a 3-0 series lead to the LA Kings, the San Jose Sharks began sounding like a team at a crossroads. Despite losing to a team that's a win away from the STanley Cup, the loss was being treated as the last straw for this group.
So Joe Thornton was thrust into trade speculation (along with Patrick Marleau) before his new contract extension can even kick in. Already the Toronto Maple Leafs have been rumored to be interested and there are probably 28 other GMs who have taken notice as well.
The problem with all of that? Thornton has a no-movement clause in his new contract so dealing him is a bit tougher than just making a deal with another team. Jumbo Joe has to consent to any move as well.
Question is, would he? We got a quasi answer to that on Tuesday when Thornton's agent -- and his brother -- said Thornton is happy in San Jose but one thing could get him to waive his no-trade clause.
One thing might get the Sharks captain to reconsider his stated intent to remain in San Jose despite suggestions from management that it may be time to move on, according to his brother and agent, John Thornton.
"If he felt the fans didn't want him in San Jose, he might re-think things," John Thornton said when asked if his brother would want to play where it was apparent he was not wanted.
Basically, Joe's brother just offered Sharks fans the chance to berate his brother so that's always fun. He did say his brother is happy in San Jose but that might change one's quality of life pretty quickly.
Then again, fans might not be in a rush to see Thornton leave because he remains one of the very best set-up men in the game and any team would love to have him on their team. Usually that's a pretty good sign a guy is worth having. Put another way, if Thornton didn't consent to a move it would hardly be the worst outcome for the Sharks to keep a player of Thornton's caliber.