Joe Thornton reached out Friday to players who had just become his former teammates to let them know he was moving on from the Sharks.
The gesture was not a surprise to San Jose captain Logan Couture.
“That’s just who Joe is. Such a respectful person,” Couture told Kevin Kurz of The Athletic after Thornton agreed to a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Maple Leafs.
Couture also summed up the feeling of loss within the organization after getting the news directly from the franchise icon.
“I guess it’s fair to say that I’m still kind of numb about it,” Couture told Kurz.
The Sharks’ official Twitter account didn’t want to accept Jumbo Joe moving east, either.
Patrick Marleau (through his wife’s account), Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane all took to social media to salute Thornton as a teammate, mentor and friend:
Before Ontario native Thornton has his homecoming with the Leafs, he will stay in hockey shape by playing in the Swiss league for HC Davos. This is his third stint with the club; the previous two came during NHL labor disputes in 2004-05 and 2012-13, respectively.
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