Thornton signs one-year contract with Panthers


Joe Thornton signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers on Friday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 42-year-old forward scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 44 regular-season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, and one goal in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.  

Selected by the Boston Bruins with the No. 1 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft, Thornton is 14th on the NHL all-time scoring list with 1,529 points (425 goals, 1,104 assists), seventh in assists and sixth in games played (1,680) during 22 seasons with the Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks and Bruins.  

He has scored 134 points (32 goals, 102 assists) in 186 playoff games.  

“With more than 1,600 games played in the NHL, Joe will bring a wealth of experience to our locker room and lineup,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “His drive to succeed is unmistakable and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club and that he believes in what we are building here in South Florida.”

Thornton won the Hart Trophy voted as the most valuable player in the NHL and the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s top scorer in 2005-06, when he scored 125 points (29 goals, 96 assists) in 81 games with the Bruins and Sharks. 

The Panthers also acquired forward Sam Reinhart in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on July 24 and he signed a three-year contract with Florida on Aug. 11. The 25-year-old led the Sabres in goals (25) and points (40) in 54 games last season.

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