Joe Thornton will play the 24th season of his career after signing a one-year deal with the Florida Panthers. The 42-year-old center will earn $750,000 on the deal with no bonuses or incentives.

“I see their team on paper, I watched their team last year, I love their team, and that’s it,” Thornton said of his new team. “I love what they’re building, and I’m excited to be part of it. But everything is about ultimately winning the Stanley Cup, and the Panthers are right there, in my opinion.”

The star center is one of the highest-scoring centers of all time. He is ninth in all-time points by a center with 1,529 points, is seventh in career assists with 1,104, 14th all-time for points and only five points away from becoming 12th.

Thorton said that he was impressed by the Panthers during their playoff series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers contacted the center weeks ago to bring him on the team.

“The energy these guys bring every day, they want to work every day, they want to get better every day,” Thornton said. “I’m just really looking forward to joining them on the journey.”

“The body feels good, the mind feels good, and I knew pretty much after the season, I started training right away and I felt good,” Thornton said. “Here we go again.”

The star center spent 15 seasons of his career with the San Jose Sharks. Last season, he spent one season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“His drive to succeed is unmistakable, and we are thrilled that he chose to sign with our club,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said.

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