Hockey legend Joe Thornton has officially hung up his skates after 24 remarkable seasons in the NHL.
Thornton, affectionately known as “Jumbo Joe” for his 6’4″ frame, announced his retirement on Saturday in a video posted by the San Jose Sharks.
“Judging by how many people keep asking me, I guess I have to tell you – I’m officially retiring from the NHL,” a shirtless Thornton declared in the clip. “I thought you guys would have figured it out sooner, but you kept asking, so here I am retiring.”
🚨 Important Shirtless Jumbo Message 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ZQJxCSr8zm
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 28, 2023
Drafted 1st overall by the Boston Bruins in 1997, Thornton began his career in Beantown, spending over seven seasons with the team. His playmaking abilities quickly became apparent, as he racked up 454 points in 532 games as a Bruin. However, his career took off to new heights when he was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2005.
Thornton thrived in San Jose, recording a whopping 1,055 points in 1,104 games in teal. His best season came in 2005-06 when he won the Art Ross Trophy after tallying a league-leading 125 points, split between the Bruins and Sharks. He also took home the Hart Memorial Trophy that season as the league’s MVP.
In total, the Ontario native compiled 1,539 points (430 goals, 1,109 assists) over 1,714 regular season contests, placing him 12th on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. Though he never captured hockey’s ultimate prize, Thornton did reach the Stanley Cup Final with San Jose in 2016.
While Thornton’s on-ice brilliance will be remembered, so too will his larger-than-life personality. His iconic beard, locker room pranks, and infamous sense of humor made him one of the most beloved players of his era.
As Thornton says in the retirement video, he’ll still be found at the rink, doing what he loves. But after over two decades of NHL memories, Jumbo Joe has earned the chance to hang up his skates. Congrats on an incredible career!