JUMBO WEEK LIVES ON!!!
Not exactly a surprise signing here since Mirtle put out the other day that there was mutual interest here. But it has finally happened. Just as we thought that San Jose was getting the old band back together by signing Patrick Marleau, Jumbo is heading home to Toronto after spending the past 14 seasons with the Sharks.
Now obviously there are a couple of different reasons for this signing. 1) Joe Thornton is a good ol' Ontario boy so I'm sure it was always a dream to play for the Leafs growing up. 2) The Leafs have just enough cap space to fit Joe in the lineup. A lot of people thought he would get somewhere in the $1-1.5M range but turns out he signed for the league mini at $700K. That also shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone because he just signed with HC Davos in Switzerland to play for free until the 2020-21 NHL season starts. But most importantly, 3) it gives Joe Thornton a legitimate chance to finally get his hands on Lord Stanley's Cup.
Listen. I get that the Leafs are a bunch of choke artists. I get that the Leafs are essentially the Philadelphia 76ers of the NHL. A ton of young talent that constantly underperforms in the playoffs. But I think this is a move right here that has Hockey Karma written all over it. Signing Joe Thornton will please the Hockey Gods. Maybe even so much that they'll lift their curse off the Leafs just for this season. This man is a legend and he deserves to get his name etched into the Cup for the rest of eternity. You put Joe Thornton out there on the powerplay with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, he should be able to chip in just enough assists to make sure that goaltending isn't nearly as much of an issue for this team as it should be. People forget that all you have to do to win hockey games is just score more goals than the other team.
So now we have Jumbo in TO. All I ask is that the Leafs don't fuck this up. Please for the love of god do not make the entire hockey world regret this decision. If you come close but just a little short, then that's fine. But if somehow these jackasses don't even make the playoffs or they get swept out of the 1st round, there should be hell to pay. I know it's going to hurt a lot of people to say this right now but we all need to be Leafs fans. At least for the next 10-12 months.
P.S. - You can barely spell Toronto without Thornton. Think about it.
P.P.S. - I wonder if Jumbo will be like a dad to Auston and Mitch like Marleau was, or if he'll just bully the young bucks mercilessly. I'm hoping for the latter.