Joe Thornton to Toronto Maple Leafs

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The San Jose Sharks are entering a rebuild and Joe Thornton is about to be traded before the start of the 2014-2015 NHL season. GM Doug Wilson made his rebuilding position known less than two weeks after the first round playoff collapse to the LA Kings. While Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are the most likely candidates to be moved, Brent Burns and Antti Niemi are also available.

Wilson admits that his Sharks, as currently constructed, simply cannot contend with the elite teams. “I don’t think we feel we’re close enough with where the other teams are at,” Wilson said. “They went through [a rebuild]. They’re there. I honestly think we’d be fooling ourselves. We now become a tomorrow team."

Thornton signed a new contract worth $6.75 million per season for the next three seasons. The 35 year old has a no-movement clause, but might be willing to waive it, especially if the Sharks were to strip him of his captaincy as some have suggested. Although he had a disappointing playoffs, he did have 76 points in 82 games during the regular season.

The Maple Leafs are among six NHL teams who are in a bidding war for Thornton. Adding center Joe Thornton to the top line with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk, would give the Toronto Maple Leafs a deadly offensive trio.

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