Sharks teammates post heartfelt goodbyes to Thornton on social media


It was a Jumbo-sized good-bye.

After Joe Thornton signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, former teammates expressed their feelings on social media.

Thornton, a veteran of 22 NHL seasons, has played the past 15 in San Jose. The Maple Leafs gain was the Sharks loss, as evident from the reactions of Thornton’s former teammates.

Defenseman Brent Burns, who was Thornton’s teammate for the past nine seasons and frequent Sharks video promo partner, will miss more than just the laughs.

Tweet from @Burnzie88: Daaaamn…. going to miss a lot more then just laughing with this guy… ultimate teammate, friend and guy to learn from..@MapleLeafs got a great one coming!

Defenseman Erik Karlsson also had a fond farewell for his teammate.

Tweet from @ErikKarlsson65: All the best to the big man. Hopefully this is not our last photo taken together both as sharks. 😉 #covidtimes

Forward Evander Kane said he was fortunate to play with Thornton and says his seat on the team plane will remain empty in tribute.

Instagram from @evander9kane: Man I’m going to miss ya, but feel very fortunate to play with you and become great friends. So many fun memories in a short period of time. I’ll make sure to keep your seat next to me at the back of the plane vacant until you come back.

Forward Kevin Labanc, who has played all four of his seasons in San Jose and played a lot of it on Thornton’s line, knows what the Maple Leafs got with the signing.

Instagram from @klabanc12: Mentor, line mate, friend and all of the above. Going to miss having him around the locker room. They don’t make them like him anymore! You got a good one @mapleleafs Good luck in Blue Jumbo!

So does Toronto. Maple Leafs legend and Hockey Hall of Fame forward Doug Gilmour’s reaction said it all.

Tweet from @DougGilmour93: Great signing! Welcome to the @MapleLeafs Jumbo!

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