It was released just minutes ago that unrestricted free agent, Jumbo Joe Thornton has signed with the Florida Panthers for 1 year deal.
Bill Zito was quoted saying “with more than 1,600 games played in the NHL, Joe will bring a wealth of experience to our locker room and lineup. His drive to succeed is unmistakable and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club and that he believes in what we are building here in South Florida.”
The 42-year-old may not have the same speed and efficiency he did earlier in his career, which started in 1997 by the way; however, he does provide grit and that “sandpaper finish” that teams need to win, especially come playoff time. He is not afraid to go to the net and use his massive, 6’4” frame to bury the biscuit.
Furthermore, Jumbo has played in 1,680 games over 24 years and accumulated 1,529 points – 1,104 apples and 425 goals. Last season with the Maple Leafs, Thornton accumulated 5 goals and 15 assists in 44 games. While that may not be earth shattering, Jumbo plays for the league minimum and his only real objective is to get to hoist Lord Stanley one time before he retires.
If Jumbo signed with the Cats, you know that he thinks their window to win is now and they have a good shot at making some noise this post-season.
Also, while I have never heard him interviewed on various podcasts, all his teammates talk about what a “team guy” Jumbo is and how he really brings everyone together and puts the game in to perspective. While he may not wear the C, when a guy like Jumbo speaks, you better fucking listen!
The Panthers are a fairly young team with their leaders being guys like Hubby and Barkie. While they are phenomenal players, they do not have the established winning pedigree or culture because of the Panther’s lack of success the past few seasons.
Jumbo may not be a leading scorer or big points guy anymore, but he will come in and bring that winning culture to the locker room. He will show these guys how to take the next steps for success and he will provide that toughness to put the Cats over the hump.
Do you think Fat Pat will be running around or clucking like a chicken to Jumbo? Do you think Kucherov will sprawl on the ice looking for a call when Jumbo whacks him? Fuck no! The entire league respects what Jumbo Joe has done for the game and should be honored to step on the ice with a legend of his caliber.
Furthermore, you get the fuck out of here if you are ever going to say that this man is not a future Hall of Famer. You would be a moron to question Joe’s talent, what he can bring to a locker room, and this signing by the Cats. I will sit here and argue with any of you idiots who say otherwise!
Welcome to Florida Jumbo and keep swinging those big ole balls Billy Z. Let’s fucking go Panthers!
Zito for President 2024!