Joe Thornton didn’t just consult with an ordinary Joe before signing a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs last week.
Thornton, who spent his past 14 1/2 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, said he spoke to another Bay Area legend before doing so: Pro Football Hall of Fame member Joe Montana.
The San Francisco 49ers traded Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993 after 13 seasons and four Super Bowl championships, and Montana talked to Thornton about the transition.
“Joe gave me some good advice,” Thornton said on a Zoom call Sunday. “He just talked about leaving San Francisco and going to Kansas City.
“That conversation meant a lot. I had so many people I talked to over the last week. I’m just blessed that I had a chance to talk to some great people. But (Montana’s) one guy that offered me some good advice.”
Thornton, 41, will continue his pursuit of the Stanley Cup after recording 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 70 games this past season with the Sharks.
The recipient of the Hart and Art Ross trophies in 2005-06, Thornton has collected 1,509 points (420 goals, 1,089 assists) in 1,636 career games with the Boston Bruins and Sharks. He was selected by Boston with the first overall pick of the 1997 NHL Draft and played 7 1/2 seasons with the club.
Thornton is the NHL’s active leader in assists and points. He ranks seventh overall in assists, ninth in games and 14th in points in NHL history.
Thornton began his NHL career with the Bruins before being traded to the Sharks for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart in November 2005.
Thornton captured an Olympic gold medal for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Games. He also was part of two championship teams in the World Cup of Hockey (2004, 2016).