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Sharks’ Joe Thornton Expects to Be Back at Full Strength

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San Jose Sharks star Joe Thornton, who is coming off his second straight season with a major knee injury, is confident that he will be back to 100% this season for San Jose, and is feeling pretty good as the 2018-2019 regular season is on the horizon.

“I feel good” Thornton admitted, according to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz.

“I know my birth certificate says 39, but I think not playing a full 82 games and playoffs last year, my body feels really, really good and I feel healthy. It’s kind of like a lockout year for myself, you get time to refocus and finally train a little bit and go again. I’m real excited for the year… I think when I’m out there I dictate the play. It doesn’t matter who I play against, I usually dictate the play. I’ve had that criticism for 22 years. I think I’ve kept up pretty good.”

Thornton will have to show he still has it after tearing the MCL and ACL ligaments in his right knee last season, after doing so in his left knee in the 2016-2017 season.

Eastern Conference

Penguins Sign Oula Palve

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed European center Oula Plave to a one-year, entry level contract, according to an official team announcement on Monday.

Palve’s new deal is for the league minimum $700K and includes a $92.5K signing bonuses. There are also games-played incentives that could total $132.5K.

Palve is coming off a solid season withTPS Turku in the Finnish sm-Liiga , leading the team with 16 goals and 35 assists in 53 games.

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Jets’ Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers Reveal Injuries

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The Winnipeg Jets were dealing with some injuries to two of their top players as they battled the St. Louis Blues in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

According to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe, Nikolaj Ehlers suffered a fractured foot but pushed through to play Game 6 despite the injury.

Additionally, Patrik Lane had groin and back injuries that he was dealing with throughout the playoffs.

Due to their injuries, neither player will play in the IIHF World Championship in May.

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Blues Recall Seven Players

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The St. Louis Blues have recalled several players, their “Black Aces”, following their first round series victory over the Winninpeg Jets.

Winnipeg has recalled Klim Kostin, Chris Butler, Jordan Nolan, Austin Poganski, Niko Mikkola, Mitch Reinke and Jake Walman to join the team.

While they are not expected to get any game time, they are expected to practice and gain experience.

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