Joe Thornton Leaves the Toronto Maple Leafs For Florida

Toronto Maple Leafs - Joe Thornton (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Joe Thornton (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs tried to sign every veteran who could still strap on the blades last year and it didn’t work.

The Toronto Maple Leafs plan to bring in Spezza, Simmonds, Thornton, Bogosian and Foligno to surround their young core had the effect of blocking any hungry, higher ceilinged players who might have helped the team.

Lehtonen, Barabanov, Sandin, Liljegren, Anderson, Brooks, Petan and Agostino could all have provided more higher end talent, but the Leafs chose to go in the other direction. It is, in my opinion, the dumbest thing the team has done in the Shanahan era.

This year they seem to have split the difference, but I still would have let Spezza and Simmonds go if it was up to me.  And speaking of going, Joe Thornton, and whatever lives in his gross beard, are off to Florida.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Joe Thornton

Why would a person willingly move to Florida? A place routinely featured in the news as having, more or less, the worst response to the pandemic on earth.  Especially when they are already rich and don’t have to? I guess Thornton  really wants to win a Stanley Cup, and thinks the Panthers are a contender (they aren’t).

Thornton on the Toronto Maple Leafs was pretty bland and ineffective.  He put up decent enough numbers but as he is 103 years old, he has no finish left, and wasn’t exactly helpful.

Had Thornton had anything left in the tank, the John Tavares injury that cost the Leafs a trip to the second round , and most likely the Stanley Cup Final (at the very least), wouldn’t have been so devastating.

The Leafs were right to not want Thornton back, and frankly, they never should have signed him in the first place. Yes, he’s a great quote, and seems like  a great guy, but as he was playing in the NHL before some members of the team were even born, it was a mistake from the start.

I would like to wish Thornton well, but he’s still  in the Atlantic Division and so I do not wish him his long sought Stanley Cup. I do wish him a safe stay in Florida, where again, I can not believe someone is willing to move of their own volition.  Though I suppose being a millionaire probably makes a lot of difference.

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Either way, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Joe Thornton going forward, something we already assumed, but which is now official.