Sharks News & Rumors: Thornton, Karlsson, Harrington & More

In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, there is speculation that Joe Thornton will be returning to the organization, though what role he will have remains unclear. In other news, Erik Karlsson let it be known that despite the team’s struggles in recent seasons he has no intention of requesting a trade. Meanwhile, free agent Scott Harrington recently accepted a professional tryout offer (PTO) for training camp later this month. Last but not least, the Sharks are set to unveil their new jerseys this Wednesday.

Thornton May Be Returning to Sharks Organization

After officially cutting ties with the Florida Panthers over a week ago, it appeared that Thornton’s playing days, at least at the NHL level, had officially come to an end. While that may still very well be the case, Corey Masisak of The Athletic recently tweeted that the 43-year-old and his family have recently moved back to San Jose, and, on top of that, has been spotted skating with Sharks players a few times this month.

Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Masisak went on to say that a Sharks source told him that at this time, Thornton does not have an official role within the organization. That, however, doesn’t mean that he won’t at some point in the future, whether as a player or perhaps in a front office position. With just five goals and 10 points in 34 games last season as a Panther, it is clear he doesn’t have much more to give, but with the Sharks likely to struggle in 2022-23, bringing him and his leadership back for one more year may make some sense. Expect to hear more on this situation as training camp approaches.

Karlsson Not Looking to Request Trade

In trading Brent Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this offseason, it has become quite obvious that the Sharks are headed for a rebuild. Because of their direction, there had been rumblings that Karlsson may look to request a trade in order to be on a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. According to the 32-year-old himself, however, that is not part of the plan.

Related: 3 Pacific Division Goalies Expected to be Traded This Season

“No, I committed here a long time ago,” Karlsson said. “It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to early on. There’s a lot of things that probably played into that. I’m not going to get into details about that, but I am excited for the future here now. I hope we can move in the direction to be successful again. Is that going to be this year? I mean, who knows? But I do think something good can come out of here.”

While Karlsson’s commitment to the organization is admirable, management would likely move him in a heartbeat if it were that easy. He is still a good NHLer, but far from the $11.5 million player he is being paid to be. The Sharks would have to hope he can get back to his former Norris Trophy playing days if they have any shot at being able to trade him and his lucrative contract in the future.

Harrington Signs PTO

The Sharks announced this past Friday that they have signed Harrington to a PTO for training camp later this month. The 29-year-old defenseman has logged 210 career games at the NHL level, as well as an additional 14 in the postseason. Over the course of his 210 regular season games, he has put up seven goals and 38 points along with 77 penalty minutes.

Scott Harrington Columbus Blue Jackets
Scott Harrington during his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Harrington spent the majority of the 2021-22 season in the American Hockey League with the Cleveland Monsters. In 50 games he scored three goals and seven points. He was also able to suit up for seven games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in which he recorded a lone assist. With Nikolai Knyzhov having torn his Achilles earlier in the summer, paired with the uncertainty surrounding Radim Simek’s future with the team, Harrington may be able to earn himself a cheap one-year deal if he performs well in camp.

Sharks Set to Release New Jerseys

According to Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now, the Sharks will be unveiling their new jerseys this coming Wednesday. These jerseys have been speculated about over the past few weeks, and reportedly leaked on Twitter recently.

Peng mentioned in an article that it is San Jose Hockey Now’s understanding that the reveal will be a full jersey, which will include pants colors as well. It should be noted, however, that these uniforms are not expected to be worn by the team this season, and will instead be debuted in 2023-24.

Looking Ahead for the Sharks

There had been speculation that the Sharks may look to add a defenseman to the mix, and it appears they have done just that by signing Harrington to a PTO. While another PTO both on the back end or perhaps up front remains a possibility, the biggest thing to watch for right now is the speculation surrounding Thornton. It could turn out to be nothing, but the fact that he has been spotted on several occasions at the rink is leading many to think there is something brewing on that front.

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