San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton was not ready to discuss his future late Tuesday night after being eliminated from the Western Conference final in six games by the St. Louis Blues.

"Just … I don't know, I don't know," Thornton said post-game, before ending his scrum.

The Sharks lost 5-1 in Game 6, their third consecutive loss after taking a 2-1 lead in the series.

"We were right there," Thornton said. "They played great. Hats off to them. That's a real good hockey team over there."

Thornton, 39, scored 16 goals and posted 51 points in 73 games during the regular season. He added four goals and 10 points in 19 games during the postseason.

A veteran of 21 seasons, Thornton has been slowed by knee injuries in recent seasons. He reached the Stanley Cup final with the Sharks in 2016, but fell in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer expressed his regret for not getting Thornton, who is scheduled to become a free agent on July 1, back to the final.

"Well, you know, he's the face, he's the heartbeat of the organization," DeBoer said. "What do you say? I think, like all the players in that room, as coaches we're disappointed for not helping him get there because he gives you everything he's got and should be there. 

"So, you know, it's hard not to feel responsibility as one of the people around him for not helping him get where he belongs. He belongs playing for a Stanley Cup."