According to Kings insider Jon Rosen, Los Angeles has been in contact with Thornton since Sunday, the start of the NHL’s window to communicate with pending unrestricted free agents. The reports also say that the Kings consider Thornton a “priority.”
The 37-year-old put up 50 points in 79 games last season with the Sharks, a significant slide from his point-per-game pace through 82 games back in the 2015-16 season. Despite his age, Thornton is one of the best passers in the game and has consistently been at the top of the NHL’s assists leaderboard. In 1,446 games, Thornton has 1,007 assists.
Thornton is clearly nearing the end of his NHL career, but it is not clear whether he will take another short-term deal with the Sharks or look to move to a contender before he retires.
The Sharks alternate captain is one of the bigger names on the NHL’s free agent market this season, along with teammate Patrick Marleau. Thornton is coming off the end of a three-year, $20.25 million deal signed back in 2014.