SAN JOSE http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-kyle-connor-jersey , Calif. (AP) Joe Thornton talked to several teams last summer when he made his first trip to the free-agent market before ultimately deciding to return to San Jose on a one-year deal.This time there was never any doubt.”Obviously there were some teams calling, but I told my agent/brother let’s keep it quiet this year, I want to go back to San Jose,” Thornton said Monday. ”Obviously talking to you guys at the end of the year that’s no secret. I feel this team is just getting better and better. … Our window is always open it seems in San Jose, and it’s a good feeling.”Thornton signed a one-year, $5 million contract on his 39th birthday, taking a $3 million pay cut from the previous year to help make sure the Sharks have the room to add other top players. Thornton had been willing to take even less had John Tavares decided to take San Jose’s offer instead of signing a $77 million, seven-year deal with Toronto on Sunday.But Thornton still believes strongly in the group that general manager Doug Wilson, coach Peter DeBoer and owner Hasso Plattner have put together and feels the pieces are in place for that elusive Stanley Cup run.”It would have been nice to get Johnny, but I think if you look at our team still Mark Scheifele Jersey , Doug and Hasso and Pete, they’ve allowed us to compete every year, and I think there’s no difference again this year,” Thornton said. ”We’re going to compete for a Cup. But yeah, I was going to be flexible and will always try to help out the franchise in that way.”The Sharks also locked up restricted free agent forward Tomas Hertl with a $22.5 million, four-year deal on Monday that buys out the first two years of unrestricted free agency.Hertl took on a bigger role last season after Thornton went down with a season-ending right knee injury Jan. 23. Thornton had torn the ACL and MCL in his left knee the previous season but said he’s ahead of where he was at this point last summer and expects to be 100 percent at the start of training camp.Thornton started slowly last season while recovering from knee surgery but was back near his top form by the end of November. He had 11 goals and 15 assists in his final 28 games before the injury.”I’ve never seen anybody train like this. You look at his birth certificate and it says a number there. But he’s childlike when it comes for his passion and love for the game,” Wilson said. ”He’s had so much time now and was so close to playing that I t6hink he’ll come back way ahead of where he was last year.”Thornton has been the face of the franchise in San Jose since arriving in 2005, helping the team reach three Western Conference finals and one trip the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.He ranks 12th in NHL history with 1,030 assists and is 16th with 1,427 points. With seven more games Mathieu Perreault Jersey , Thornton will become the 19th player to reach the 1,500-game mark for a career.The 24-year-old Hertl is just coming into his own after being slowed by knee injuries early in his career. He had a career-high 22 goals to go along with 44 assists this past season and was strong on both ends of the ice.Hertl was even better come playoff time with six goals and three assists in 10 games. He also won 57.7 percent of his faceoffs. The Sharks are counting on more of that kind of play in the future.”I just think his best hockey is ahead of him,” Wilson said. ”He truly wants to be a great player. Watching him in the playoffs this year, I think everybody saw him take that step that not only we expected but he expected of himself.”The Sharks still have one more restricted free agent to sign in forward Chris Tierney.—AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this story— COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two teams at or near the top of the division standings who have each gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games meet Tuesday night when the Calgary Flames visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.The Flames (16-9-2) will be looking to extend their winning streak to three games after a 3-2 victory in Chicago over the Blackhawks on Sunday. Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Derek Ryan each scored goals for Calgary.The Blue Jackets (15-9-2) were knocked out of the top spot in the Metropolitan Division after a 3-2 loss on the road Saturday night at the New York Islanders in Nassau Coliseum.Article continues below ...Returning home should benefit the Blue Jackets. They’ve 4-0-1 in the past five games at Nationwide Arena and have won three in a row. Nine of their 14 games in December will be played at home.The Blue Jackets feel fortunate to have defenseman Ryan Murray available against the Flames after he blocked an Islanders shot in the third period and left the ice Saturday night.During Monday’s practice, he showed no ill effects from what could have proved to be a serious injury.“It’s coming right down main street. You’re right there. You’re not going to move out of the way,” he told the team’s website. “You’re hoping for the best. It could have been a lot worse.“We got X-rays. Everything looked good. I thought for sure it was broken, honestly. I was pretty fortunate in the end.”Fueling the Blue Jackets’ recent success is their power play, which ranks 15th in the NHL at 20.0 percent but has converted eight of its past 28 attempts (28.5 percent).The leader of the attack in recent games is right winger Cam Atkinson Patrik Berglund Jersey Womens , who with an assist on Saturday night established a career high with a point in 10 consecutive games. He has 10 goals and six assists during that streak, which is tied for the second longest in franchise history behind a 13-game streak by Ryan Johansen in 2014-15.Atkinson’s linemate, center Pierre-Luc Dubois, has kept pace with seven goals and eight assists in the past eight games. Nearly a third of the way through the season, Dubois has 13 goals and 25 points.Their other lineman, left winger Artemi Panarin, leads the Blue Jackets with 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists).Forward Markus Hannikainen has contributed five points in the last eight games and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has experienced success against the Flames in the past, posting a 7-2-2 record with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.The Flames, who have won three of their past four games http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-nikolaj-ehlers-jersey , are led by dynamic forward Johnny Gaudreau’s 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists). Sean Monahan is right behind with 29 (15 goals, 14 assists) and defenseman Mark Giordano has accumulated 21 points (three goals, 21 assists).Flames coach Bill Peters was undecided on Monday after practice whether Mike Smith (8-7-1) or David Rittich will start in goal. Smith made 22 saves in the win at Chicago and Rittich has an 8-2-1 record this season.“We’re very lucky,” Peters said, according to the team’s website. “We’ve got both goaltenders dialed in well, making big saves at key times, and it feels like the decision you make, as a group, when you put the goaltender in Patrik Laine Jersey , it feels like you’re going to win the game no matter who you go with.”Peters was certain that former Blue Jackets forward Dalton Prout will be in the lineup after he was recalled from the American Hockey League. Prout has played in one game for the Flames this season.“Prouter will be in for sure,” Peters said. “He played real well when he went down to the American League and he’s come back so we want to get him in some games, get him into a rhythm. They’re a big strong team, a heavy team, a lot of o-zone grind time … he defends real well, a heavy body up front. We’ll get him in and get him going again.”Austin Czarnik also will see ice time in a return to the Calgary lineup. In 17 games, he has one goal and four points.