Pic of Day: Jumbo Joe Thornton


Occasionally, I come across things on Twitter that really make me wonder in amazement. Any hockey fan who has followed Joe Thornton’s journey from the Bruins to Sharks knows about his metamorphosis. The former Hart winner who is six assists shy of 1,000 for a brilliant NHL career that includes a total 1375 points in 1422 games is a future Hall of Famer.

One of the best playmaking big centers in the game, Jumbo Joe is fun to watch. He’s definitely one of the best passers I’ve seen. He really can thread the needle. The cool aspect is he also is only 19 goals shy of 400. Thornton is a complete player. Since joining San Jose in a blockbuster trade that was awful for Boston, he’s plus-177 with 921 points. The breakdown is 212 goals and 709 assists for 921 points over 890 games in teal.

Thornton is still looking for that elusive Stanley Cup. He finally made the Final last year with the Sharks but they lost to the Penguins in six. The 37-year old former ’97 first overall pick remains one of the most underappreciated superstars. If he could ever hoist the Cup, that would end.


A lucky Boston Bruins fan met both Joe Thornton and Brent Burns during Boston’s win over the Sharks. Photo by Struzz15 via Twitter.

What might not is Thornton’s insane beard. Between him and teammate Brent “Caveman” Burns, they have enough facial hair to donate for people who need it. You get the idea.

The Pic of Day is a comparison of a young Jumbo Joe with Boston clean shaven to the current one with the wild and crazy beard. It really is the same person. Amazing.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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