Thursday, December 01, 2005


Boston makes it a Blockbuster Night

Joe Thornton, San Jose Shark.

No matter how many times I look at that, it just doesn't seem right at all.

The San Jose Sharks trade Defenseman Brad Stuart and Forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau to Boston in Exchange for 1997 NHL First Overall Selection Joe Thornton

You can count on PJ @ Sharkspage to give you the lowdown, and he asks 5 questions about how this trade will affect the Sharks and Bruins.

What is even more shocking is that TSN's Insider, Bob MacKenzie, was also shocked by the deal.

We knew that the Boston Bruins were in dire straits. Maybe firing the general manager or the coach wouldn't have surprised anybody. We knew the San Jose Sharks were in dire straits, but what we didn't think was that the Bruins would trade the face of their franchise and their number one overall pick from 1997.

When the well-connected MacKenzie can't see a trade coming, you know it's a real surprise.

But the other thing that really surprised me in talking to a lot of NHL general managers is that they didn't know about the deal. If you've got an asset like Joe Thorton and you're going to move him, you would almost think that the best-case scenario would be an auction situation. Get as many teams bidding on him as possible. But as near as I can tell, that didn't happen.

So the very fact that a lot of general managers I talked to after the deal had no idea that it was going down tells me that this was Boston and San Jose talking almost exclusively to each other and trying to trade each others problems and get both their teams out of a funk.

Now, getting Brad Stuart and Marco Sturm (because, let's face it, Wayne Primeau is a dime-a-dozen grinder) for Joe Thornton isn't the worst return in the world, but I doubt it will make Bruins fans happy. If you are trading a franchise player like Joe Thornton, you owe it to yourself to get the best deal possible.

On the other hand, teams are dealing with salary cap issues and perhaps the Sharks were one of the few teams with the flexibility and willingness to take on Joe Thornton and his big contract.

What's worse for the B's is that of the 3 players they got in return for Big Joe, the mini-Primeau was playing the best overall.

Sturm and Stuart have had a lot of trouble this year.

I'm honestly shocked that this is the best offer Mike O'Connell could come up with.

i and many other Bs fans in my circle have been suspect of Thornton's leadership abilities since he was made captain so young. Its a shame that that very bad move by management has led to this mess. In my discussions there's been a lot of suspicion of Joe's heart and tenacity and that as captain that infects the rest of the team.

Joe going doesn't seem like a bad thing although I think that moving the captaincy might have been a better idea. Looking at this from the Boston side- the return on this investment is horrific.
You are right about it not making any sense, and sometimes you have to chalk something like this up to 'bad chemistry'. Not that there is anything wrong with Thornton, or his leadership, but sometimes too many leaders in the nest is a coaches worst nightmare. The only winner here is the W. Conference. I always felt that Thornton was being wasted playing right coast hockey.
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