In a strong statement of confidence, the San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton has "no plan" to skip off to Switzerland should the NHL go into lockout mode. Thornton's brother and agent, John Thornton, emailed CSN California on behalf of the Sharks' captain, and his stance reveals a belief that the NHLPA will come to an agreement with the league to avoid a lockout.
Why is this a big deal coming from Thornton?
Having been practicing with Swiss team HC Davos of late, the rumor mill over in Switzerland had Thornton and the New York Rangers' Rick Nash heading overseas if a lockout occurs, according to Kevin Kurz. Both Thornton and Nash played with HC Davos during the cancelled NHL season of 2004-05.
Even more of a pull to Thornton heading to Switzerland could be his wife, who is Swiss.
But the Swiss rumor mill is apparently incorrect.
John Thornton's email said Joe Thornton believes in NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, and that's a positive sign for hoping that the league and its players can find common ground before or soon after Sept. 15, when the current collective bargaining agreement ends.