NHL veteran Joe Thornton will be starting the 2020-21 hockey season in Switzerland. A report by NZZ Sports states the 41-year-old has agreed to play for HC Davos of the Swiss National League at least until the next NHL season starts.

Thornton has a special connection to HC Davos. He played for the club during both NHL lockouts in 2004 and 2012 and also met his wife there. They spend summers in the area and Thornton usually works with a trainer there to prepare for the upcoming season.

Thornton is currently an unrestricted free agent in the NHL. There have been some rumours linking him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, with players with the team said to be calling him in an attempt to convince him to sign there. There's been nothing official yet, though. It's hard to imagine Thornton playing for anyone other than the San Jose Sharks, the team he's been with since the 2005-06 season.

One of the more interesting things to note about this stint with HC Davos is Thornton will no longer be considered a foreign player as he now has a Swiss passport. Teams in the National League are limited to just four non-Swiss players. The National League season got underway on October 1st.

Update: Thornton has confirmed his return to HC Davos with a short video

OCTOBER 15, 2020  (8H01)