Thornton is still a pretty good player and it makes total sense too. His game has never been based on speed, so there is no reason why he couldn't operate at a fairly high level. Similar situation with Jagr. Jagr had a bit more speed, but no one would have thought of him as fast or that being an asset to his game. Lidstrom was similar in that he didn't decline dramatically, was more of a slow decline, largely because his game was less focused on speed and physicality. He was going to decline, everyone does, but it's wasn't as dramatic as you tend to see with other types of players.
It will be interesting to see how Ovechkin's career goes late into his 30's since he's the type of player I'd expect to decline quicker than others if my theory holds up.
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