Jumbo Joe Returns to San Jose


Joe Thornton is coming back for another NHL season.

The 40-year-old centre has signed a one-year, $2-million contact with the San Jose Sharks after briefly considering retirement at the end of last season.

Thornton arrived in the California city in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Bruins in November 2005, turning the Sharks into a perennial Stanley Cup contender that has never won it all.

He won the Hart Trophy as league MVP his first season, leading the Sharks to back-to-back Western Conference finals appearances in 2010-11 and a run to the league final three years ago only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In 22 NHL seasons, Thornton has scored 413 goals and 1,478 points.

In other NHL news, the Carolina Hurricanes have signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Jake Gardiner to a four-year, $16.2-million contract.

The 29-year-old Gardiner was a first-round pick of Anaheim in 2008 and played 551 regular season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs over eight seasons.