SAN JOSE, Calif. (CBS SF/AP) — The San Jose Sharks have re-signed center Joe Thornton to a one-year contract and then inked veteran forward Thomas Hertl to a new four-year deal on Monday.
The team announced Thornton’s deal his 39th birthday. He tested the free agent market last summer before returning to San Jose on a one-year, $8 million deal but was intent the whole time this year on staying with the Sharks.
The move to bring back Thornton comes a day after the Sharks lost out on getting John Tavares as their top-line center. Tavares signed a $77 million, seven-year deal with Toronto instead.
Thornton was performing at a high level before tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in January. Thornton had a similar injury to his left knee late last season and played four playoff games before offseason surgery but wasn’t able to make it back this year. He had 13 goals and 23 assists in 47 games last season.
Meanwhile, General Manager Doug Wilson said Hertl was signed to the longer term deal because he was “just starting to hit his prime.”
“Tomas took a big step forward last season, both on and off the ice, and we feel that he is just starting to hit his prime,” said Wilson in a press release. “He has the ability to be a dominant player in this League and proved during the playoffs that he can take over any given game with his combination of skill and strength.”
“His capability to play both center and the wing gives our team some flexibility, and he has one of the most infectious personalities in our dressing room. We’re excited he made this commitment to our organization.”
The 24-year-old Hertl recorded 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists), 41 penalty minutes and 175 shots on goal in 79 games with San Jose this past season. He finished the 2017-18 regular season ranked second on the team in takeaways (60), tied for second in goals, fourth in power-play goals (six) while also leading the Sharks in game-winning goals (five) and faceoff wins (587).
The fifth-year center also set career-highs in goals, penalty minutes, power-play goals and game-winning goals, and tied his career mark for points.
In 10 playoff games this season, Hertl had nine points (six goals, three assists), a plus-two rating and paced the Sharks in goals and game-winning goals (two). His six goals tied a playoff career high.
In 328 career NHL games, all with San Jose, Hertl has registered 170 points (81 goals, 89 assists) and a plus-12 rating. He ranks third in goals scored and fourth in points amongst his 2012 draft class, and became the fourth-youngest player (19 years, 330 days) in NHL history to score four times in a game with his effort on Oct. 8, 2013 vs. the New York Rangers.