The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Sign Joe Thornton In The Offseason

Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks vs Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks vs Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, and one of them should be to make a big push and sign unrestricted free agent and hometown kid Joe Thornton.

The Toronto Maple Leafs know the year is not 2009, and that Joe Thornton is not in the prime of his career anymore.

The London Ontario native has been arguably the best playmaker in the NHL for nearly two decades, and still continues to produce as well as you would expect a 40 year old to in the now young and speedy NHL game.

The Leafs should sign him.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Joe Thornton

Unlike like the veteran additions of Patrick Marleau and Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton would add a completely different element to the Toronto Maple Leafs that they have come to so desperately miss, after trading away the only player who had that in Nazem Kadri last summer.

Joe Thornton isn’t just a goofy and bearded old man that has managed to stay in the league farther than expected, he is an extremely valued asset who has been able to elevate the level of compete and production of anyone he plays with.

Known for his goofy and comedic attitude off the ice, Joe Thornton’s attitude on the ice has allowed him to be successful for this long.

With elite laser like passing ability, Thornton is always a player to watch in any area of the ice. Thornton does not rely on his speed all that much, but for a player listed at 6-4 220lb, his speed can most certainly deceive you, especially on the cycle and the half wall.

Due to his massive build, Jumbo Thornton is a valued asset while working the cycle along the wall.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of speed in their lineup, but they lack players who can actively work the cycle effectively every single shift.

While Tyler Bozak and JVR had their grand moments as a scoring duo, they were very undervalued for the work they put in on their cycle game. Since both of their departures, along with Nazem Kadri this summer; the Maple Leafs need to add that element back to their game.

Zach Hyman does a fantastic job at cycling every single game, and William Nylander has been tremendously effective at it this season, which only makes you want more of that from the entire roster as well.

Joe Thornton would add that element to the Toronto Maple Leafs, while also maintaining the skill aspect that the Maple Leafs love to engage.

Some players tend to lurk in the shadows in games they aren’t engaged in, but you will most certainly know when Joe is on the ice. Thornton is always engaged and into the game, which makes him in the thick of seemingly everything that goes on.

Veteran leadership is another quality Joe Thornton would bring to the Maple Leafs. Even though his salary was much too high, Patrick Marleau was crucial for the development of many Maple Leafs players including Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. Jason Spezza has been an incredible addition, and adding Joe Thornton would only boost that leadership even further.

Next. Every UFA In The Metro Division. dark

In a busy offseason for the Toronto Maple Leafs, they should absolutely push to sign London Ontario native Joe Thornton.