The Colorado Avalanche, one could argue, still need a center for the stretch run and possibly into the playoffs. Second-line pivotman Nazem Kadri remains out several weeks because of a lower-body injury, and there is a bit of a mishmash of how you’d term the third-line center position. Some nights, it always seems to be a different guy.
Friday night, the National Hockey Now family learned the Avalanche are on the shortlist of San Jose Sharks center and future Hall of Famer Joe Thornton, according to sources close to the player.
Stick tap to our colleagues at Boston Hockey Now, specifically Jimmy Murphy (@murphyslaw74) for getting the scoop. Murphy was the first to report the Boston Bruins interest in Ondrej Kase, whom Boston acquired Friday.
On Thornton’s shortlist are Colorado, Boston, Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Pittsburgh.
I can verify that Murphy’s sources are good ones.
Thornton has some family that live in Colorado.
Thornton, 40, has 25 points in 60 games this season, including just two goals. The playmaking center has mostly remained the top center in San Jose, playing with Timo Meier and Kevin Lebanc. The centerman is averaging just over 15 minutes of ice time per game.
Jumbo Joe is a six-time all-star and the 2006 winner of the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy. He has never won a Stanley Cup, though he played in the 2016 Finals with the Sharks against Pittsburgh. The Sharks reportedly would like to give Thornton a chance at winning one in what could be his final season.