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Weekend Flurries: Joe Thornton says goodbye to the San Jose Sharks

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With Joe Thornton off the market, there are still some big names left in free agency. But who has the money?

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

A day after announcing that he would suit up for HC Davos in Switzerland during the “offseason”, Joe Thornton signed another one year contract in the NHL - and for the first time, it wasn’t with the San Jose Sharks. The former Sharks captain has signed a one year, $700k contract to play next season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Growing up in the Greater Toronto Area, Thornton is the latest veteran to take sign a contract to return home, joining Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds in an attempt to bolster a young lineup.

After bring selected 1st overall by the Boston Bruins all the way back in 1997, Thornton was traded to San Jose 15 years ago. Since then, he has turned into a legend for that fanbase and the most significant player in franchise history.

Scrolling through Twitter Friday night, it was easy to see just how much Thornton meant to his former team:

Thornton is the NHL’s active leader in assists (1,089) and points (1,509).

Now I guess we’ll see an old man wrestling match between Thornton and Jason Spezza over who gets to wear number 19 in Toronto next season.

Colorado Avalanche

Here’s a brief but interesting look at Avs 3rd round draft pick Jean-Luc Foudy:

Next season is a big one for hockey in Colorado. It will be the 25th season since the Avalanche came to Denver. There has been a lot of speculation that as a tribute to their history, the Avs will finally have a Quebec Nordiques-themed alternate jersey next season. Now, Nathan MacKinnon has poured fuel on that fire with his latest Instagram post:

Before the season starts, Joe Sakic has a little more work to do when to comes to finalizing his roster for next season as Devon Toews and Tyson Jost are still restricted free agents. Toews is due to have an arbitration hearing on Halloween but it is believed the Avalanche are going to work out a deal before it comes to that. What’s the holdup? Well, Sakic traded for Toews two days after his wedding, so he’s been on the honeymoon since becoming a member of the Avalanche. Expect a deal for the 26-year old defender sometime in the next two weeks.

Along with Toews, Sakic’s other big acquisition was Brandon Saad. For those unfamiliar with him as a player - or those who just want to revel in what an amazing player the Avalanche traded for - our own Adrian Hernandez has put together a little video to get you excited:

Around the NHL

A little over a week after being drafted, Quinton Byfield has signed his entry level contract with the Los Angeles Kings. Selected second overall, Byfield made history becoming the highest drafted black player in the history of the NHL entry draft, passing Evander Kane and Seth Jones, who both went fourth overall in 2009 and 2013, respectively.

Byfield’s ELC comes a couple days after first overall selection Alexis Lafreniere signed his with the New York Rangers.

Speaking of second overall draft picks, Nolan Patrick has signed his qualifying offer with the Philadelphia Flyers. The 22-year-old missed the entire 2019-20 season and playoffs with a migraine disorder.