"As you get older, you realize you only have so many shots at this thing," Thornton said Tuesday, according to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz. "It would have been nice to at least have a chance (at the Stanley Cup). ... I wanted a shot, you know? Believe it or not. I've been hunting this thing down for 22 years, so I wanted another shot at it."
The 40-year-old Thornton signed a one-year, $2-million deal to stay with the Sharks last summer, but the team has struggled throughout the 2019-20 campaign.
With San Jose sitting near the bottom of the standings, the veteran center was willing to waive his no-movement clause in order to join a legitimate Cup contender. But while there was interest in Thornton on deadline day, it didn't come from the league's "elite" teams, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
"Yeah, obviously I was willing to go somewhere, and try to win my first Stanley Cup," Thornton said. "I've been dreaming about that ever since I can remember and it just didn't come to fruition, for whatever reason. I wanted to get something back for the Sharks obviously to help them continue this process with young guys. It just didn't work out."
Thornton has skated in 1,628 regular-season games throughout his NHL career, amassing 417 goals and 1,088 assists. He's also played in 179 playoff contests, reaching the Stanley Cup Final once in 2016.