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Maple Leafs sign Joe Thornton

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Leafs add even more experience during an extremely active free agency window

TORONTO, ON., Oct. 16, 2020 — Today, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the signing of forward Joe Thornton to a one-year contract. The value of the contract is $700,000.

A six-time All Star, Joe Thornton, 41, skated in 70 regular season games with San Jose last season, registering 31 points (7 goals, 24 assists). In 1,636 career NHL regular season games between the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, Thornton has recorded 1,509 points (420 goals, 1089 assists) while adding 133 points (31 goals, 102 assists) in 179 playoff games. The veteran forward was awarded both the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy in 2006. 

Thornton, a London, Ontario native has represented Canada several times, capturing an Olympic gold medal (2010), two World Cup gold medals (2004, 2016), one gold medal at the 1997 IIHF World Jr. Championships as well as a Spengler Cup with Davos in 2005. 

Thornton was originally drafted from the Soo Greyhounds (OHL) by the Boston Bruins with the first overall selection in the 1997 NHL Draft.

The signing of Thornton in tandem with the signing of Wayne Simmonds on day one of free agency provides the blue and white with some much welcome experience up front. The Leafs have been super busy during the first week of NHL free agency. In addition to signing Simmonds and Thornton, the Leafs signed Sabres forward Jimmy Vesey to a one-year contract valued at $900,000, Lightning defenceman Zach Bogosian to a one-year contract valued at $1 million, Capitals forward, Travis Boyd to a one-year contract valued at $700,000, and Calgary defenceman T.J. Brodie. The Leafs also acquired forward Joey Anderson from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Andreas Johnsson.

Vesey, 27, appeared in 60 games for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2019-20 season, recording nine goals and 11 assists. In 304 career NHL games between Buffalo and the New York Rangers, he has recorded 110 points (59 goals, 51 assists). Prior to beginning his professional career, Vesey appeared in 128 games for Harvard University, registering 80 goals and 64 assists for 144 points. He captured the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top men’s ice hockey player in 2015-16.

On Tuesday, October 13, the Maple Leafs announced the signing of one of Joe Thornton’s teammates, San Jose Sharks goaltender, Aaron Dell to a one-year contract valued at $800,000.

Dell, 31, played in 33 games with the San Jose Sharks in 2019-20, posting a 12-15-3 record with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. In 107 career NHL appearances with San Jose, the Airdrie, Alberta native owns a 48-34-12 record with a 2.76 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and five shutouts.

with notes from nhl.com/mapleleafs

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