Joe Thornton has played a lot of hockey over his career, 1,431 of them to be exact, hit the century mark for assists in his career. The 13th player overall to do so, the number 1 over all pick in 1997 for Boston and traded to the San Jose Sharks in the 05-06 season are the only 2 teams Thornton has played for. The Sharks skated to a 3-2 victory at the MTS Centre against the Winnipeg Jets, where Thornton assisted on Joe Pavelski’s empty net goal.

Joe Thornton Canadian ice hockey player, Detro...

Joe Thornton Canadian ice hockey player, Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Super Joe now joins a legendary cast of Hall of Famers,

  1. Wayne Gretzky– 1963 assists
  2. Ron Francis- 1249 assists
  3. Mark Messier- 1193 assists
  4. Ray Bourque- 1169 assists
  5. Jaromir Jagr- 1142 assists
  6. Paul Coffey- 1135 assists
  7. Adam Oates- 1075 assists
  8. Steve Yzerman- 1063 assists
  9. Gordie Howe- 1049 assists
  10. Marcel Dionne- 1040 assists
  11. Mario Lemieux- 1033 assists
  12. Joe Sakic- 1016 assists
  13. Joe Thornton-1000 assists

Thornton being in the league for 20 years is an accomplishment all on its own and he can probably squeak out a few more years. Hypothetically speaking, if Thornton can play another 3 years at best, he can possibly reach the number 9 spot in front of Howe. With only 5 goals and 36 assists on the year, there has to be some concern how long can he play at an elite level. With the power being in the Eastern Conference now, how long will his window be open for to try to get a Cup ring!?

I’ve always loved watching Thornton play, he’s one of the best pure passers in the game and will certainly make it to the H.O.F. when he is done playing. If he ends up going Cup-less for his career I don’t think that will hinder anything he’s accomplished for San Jose and Boston, but it sure be nice to see the old goat get one!