Free agent veteran forward Joe Thornton was preparing to play hockey in Switzerland while he figured out his future in the National Hockey League. Then, the Toronto Maple Leafs called.
The Sharks signed Thornton to a one-year deal last season where he had seven goals and 24 assists in 70 games. His return to the league means that the center will be playing in his 23rd season.
This news comes just one day after it was announced that Thornton was going to play with Swiss National League team HC Davos -- he was eligible to play for the international squad as soon as Saturday. It was set to be be the 41-year-old's third stint with the Swiss team, with which he's been training since July. Thornton joined HC Davos during the NHL lockout in 2004-05, and also played with them during the 2012-13 season. He also has a Swiss passport and met his wife in Switzerland
As was reported at the time, Thornton's contract with the Swiss club allowed him to return to the North American league at any time, and that time has now come.