In recent weeks San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton has been kicked around more than any California-based public figure since Richard Milhous Nixon.
In the wake of the Sharks' brutal loss in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, when they blew a 3-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings, Thornton's leadership has been indirectly questioned and it's been widely suggested that the premiere playmaker is on the trade block this summer.
There's only one problem with that theory: Thornton has a full no-movement clause and signed a three-year contract extension worth $20.25 million just a few months ago. If the Sharks want to see the Thornton era come to a close this summer, it's the skilled Sharks captain who will control the process.
"He's perfectly happy there right now," Joe's brother and agent John Thornton told David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News this week. "He wants to stay there and win the cup. He believes they still have enough talent."
So is there any scenario in which Thornton might potentially change his mind, and agree to waive his no-movement clause and join a new club? "If he felt the fans didn't want him in San Jose, he might re-think things," his agent said.