November 30, 2005

Joe Thornton is going west.: The Bruins Captain was traded to the Sharks for Sturm, Stuart, and Primeau.

posted by 86 to hockey at 09:32 PM - 33 comments

Are things that bad in Boston? I'm not sure I get this move. Anyone have a good explanation?

posted by 86 at 09:35 PM on November 30, 2005

i've got nuttin. total shocker. has sammy been resuscitated yet?

posted by garfield at 09:40 PM on November 30, 2005

Can any Boston fans look me in the eye and tell me Joe Thornton: a) has played up to his potential coming out of the junior ranks and the expectations the organization (and by extension, Bruins fans) had for him, and b) has not played as if he had no desire to be in a Bruins uniform this season. He played like an absolute dog in his final game with Boston, and he certainly hasn't shown the fire to be the team's leader and captain. It hasn't exactly been a big secret that he hasn't been very happy in Boston for the past couple of years, although I don't think I can blame him. But the team gave him a big three-year deal during the offseason, and then he still just doesn't look like he wants to be there -- at what point do you just cut the strings and send the guy on his way?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:28 PM on November 30, 2005

I listen to sports radio regularly in both Ottawa and Montreal and on both there has been talk since the beginning of the season about what is wrong with Joe Thornton. So that's probably a big part of it. As well, though, Boston had pretty much NO one under contract when the lockout ended, and had to build that team, quickly, from scratch. I imagine they found a lot of holes (which are very evident when they play) and figure it's easier to fill them without a huge contract like Thornton's around. This will give them a lot more room to manoeuvre for the rest of this year and in this offseason. Lastly it looks like there was a power struggle between Thornton and the new coach - just last week he was quoted as saying that they don't buy in to his system. I guess O'Connell won.

posted by mikelbyl at 10:48 PM on November 30, 2005

Sharks sent three starters in return and Joe does have an outsized contract...

posted by billsaysthis at 12:31 AM on December 01, 2005

Yeah, I sense this was about money as much as it was about shaking up two teams that could use it. This frees up the Bruins to make some other marqueelike trade closer to the deadline. I like this move both ways. The Sharks get a marquee name they haven't really had since, when, Owen Nolan? And Boston gets some defensive help and a little cap room. If Thornton returns to all-world form, this is a steal for the Sharks, but as it is, I like this trade both ways.

posted by chicobangs at 02:09 AM on December 01, 2005

Sharks get firepower, but this move creates another hole on defense. Marco Sturm can turn it around, Primeau is a third liner at best, but Stuart was a top 2 defenseman and one of the few who could quarterback the power play. Doug Wilson is not done dealing. When Toskala returns, either Vesa or Evgeni Nabokov will be gone for a defenseman, and rookie Nolan Schaefer will get a permanent spot on the bench. Joe Thornton made $6.6 million this season, Sturm, Stuart and Primeau made $5 million combined, so both teams are about in the same spot as they were before. San Jose will probably call up Clowe and a 7th defenseman from Cleveland to fill out the holes in the roster.

posted by large_elvis at 03:10 AM on December 01, 2005

I'm surprised that they did it but not surprised why - Joe, while a good player, has never played up to his potential or the expectations. Especially this season - 60 SOG and 9 goals are pretty pathetic for a 1st line center (even though he is tied for 11th in points by forwards). I'm disappointed that they couldn't get more defense out of the deal - the B's desperately need some fast defenders to adjust to the new game. Hal Gill looks even more like a relic lumbering around the ice. Maybe that $1.5 extra can go to some D. chico - agreed - with the way the Bruins are playing, this works well as a message that nobody is sacred - show up to play 60 minutes (not 40 or 59:30) or off you go.

posted by kokaku at 05:13 AM on December 01, 2005

No, I can't say Thorton ever lived up to expectations, mainly because he seemed to lack a certain . . . grit, for lack of a better word. Or maybe that mythical extra gear one would want to see come playoff time. However, judging by the 15 minutes of WEEI I suffered through on the drive in, I don't think this is going to put asses in the seats unless there's a huge turnaround. Jeremy Jacobs better increase the security around his house. Again.

posted by yerfatma at 06:16 AM on December 01, 2005

I listened to the same radio coverage (unlike yerfatma I live for the carnage) and someone should nominate Harry Sinden for Best Week Ever. Here's this guy who's the President of the Bruins and can completely separate himself from any responsibility without the bat of an eyelash. It's all Mike O'Connell's deal...I'm not that involved...etc. Yet WEEI calls him at 7am for an interview, not the guy who made the deal.

posted by YukonGold at 06:56 AM on December 01, 2005

Ridiculous. I'm still shocked. This is a shake-up move for two teams that should be performing better - but the Sharks got the better deal simply because they got the better player. Sturm is a soft player who never measured up to potential, Stuart was lauded as a possible Olympic player a few years back - but really is far from an elite defenceman in the way that Thorton is an elite centre and Wayne Primeau is a good role guy. I think Thorton was frustrated and didn't react well to his frustration, but if there is a Boston fan out there who likes this deal, or defends it because Thorton 'wasn't working hard enough' - then I have some Moose pasture just north of Elliot Lake to sell you. He is still young, still incredibly skilled and still one of the best centres in the game. What a stupid, stupid move (even if the Bruins marginally improve it's still a stupid move). I'd have traded Samsonov, Murray, Raycroft and Boynton way before Thorton.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:04 AM on December 01, 2005

The jury is still out on this one. Based on this season alone I say the B's got better. Decent offensive winger, Above average D-man, and a solid role player. Thorton never showed that leadership that was expected of him and was a total playoff bust. You can't compare Thorton to Sturm/Stuart/Primeau one on one, you have to look at what the B's gain as a whole. Help on D, some grit, and another underachiving foward. I could be wrong, Thorton could turn it around, but regular season numbers don't mean much to me, playoff sucsess does.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:24 AM on December 01, 2005

I could be wrong, Thorton could turn it around, but regular season numbers don't mean much to me, playoff sucsess does. Well, you've got to get to the playoffs too. He's on pace for about 110 points this year; what's with all this talk that he's not playing up to potential? He's also 26.

posted by dfleming at 08:31 AM on December 01, 2005

Everyone harps about the last round of playoffs and Thorton's performance. And I get flummoxed - does anyone read? - Thorton had no business even being on the ice he was hurt so bad. Bruised ribs, ankle strain and some other ailments that should have kept him out. He played because that's what he was supposed to do - sacrifice the body for the common goal. When he's filling it for the Sharks, the chickens are coming home to roost on this one. Boston ain't going to see a player of his calibre for a long time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:36 AM on December 01, 2005

Yeah, the guy didn't win a series while maimed and he is crucified for it...Calls for giving up the "C" and shit. And people say the Toronto media is bad (which it is, but I'm just sayin...). My only personal criticism of Joe's play is that he didn't maximize his effectiveness. He wasn't dangerous as often as he could be. Seeing him camp out behind the net, while productive, allowed defenses to rest and key in on what was going on, which is never a good thing. But this is as minor a criticism of a player like Joe I can make. And anybody who saw Primeau blast a slapper from the top of the right circle while blood streams from his nose realizes the Bruins got a Bruin.

posted by garfield at 08:49 AM on December 01, 2005

The Bruins are becoming the Cardinals of the NHL. Or the Expos.

posted by yerfatma at 09:04 AM on December 01, 2005

When he's filling it for the Sharks, the chickens are coming home to roost on this one. Boston ain't going to see a player of his calibre for a long time. As a Toronto Maple Leaf fan, I'm quite happy to have Thorton on the other side of the continent, instead of on a division rival. I think this is all about money and respect. Boston is owned by one of the worst owners in pro sports (rated 4th worst by a recent Sporting News or ESPN), and his only commitment is to make money. I can't begrudge him that, but to then dress-down your team in the media and then trade your most talented player? Disgusting. The respect angle comes from the power struggle between the coach and the captain/star. The coach wins, but I think the team is the loser overall.

posted by grum@work at 09:59 AM on December 01, 2005

Not only did Boston trade some guy 'Thorton', they traded Thornton, too.

posted by Desert Dog at 10:22 AM on December 01, 2005

the n key on my keyboard doesn't work. Oh wait there it goes.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:15 AM on December 01, 2005

"Jeremy Jacobs took the easy way out..."

posted by garfield at 12:17 PM on December 01, 2005

here's some more links Duha - "In Thornton, the Sharks received the player chosen first overall in the 1997 entry draft, just ahead of Patrick Marleau, their top scorer. The two are virtually mirror images of one another in terms of size and scoring ability and immediately gives the Sharks one of the best one-two punches down the middle of any team in the NHL." Raycroft "I'll definitely cross my fingers that I'm still here tomorrow I guess, too. If Joe can go, anybody can go. I'll be waiting by the phone." Harris - "No doubt, a key to the move is the belief that 20-year-old Bís forward Patrice Bergeron has a chance step up and fill the No. 1 center role." Guregian - "...this is a huge gamble on OíConnellís part, one he was forced to take, thanks in large part to his bungling the job of putting the team together prior to this season."

posted by garfield at 12:53 PM on December 01, 2005

Thornton will be on the same team with center Patrick Marleau, who was taken No. 2 in the 1997 draft, as well as his cousin, left wing Scott Thornton. A buddy from Junior, and a family member? Hmm. Why do I get the feeling Joe Thornton is going to fit in just fine with the Sharks?

posted by chicobangs at 01:05 PM on December 01, 2005

As my fantasy league results attest, Bergeron does not have -- not now -- what it takes to be a number one centre. Not at all.

posted by mkn at 02:32 PM on December 01, 2005

Who wears the C now?

posted by HATER 187 at 02:59 PM on December 01, 2005

Jason Varitek.

posted by yerfatma at 03:12 PM on December 01, 2005

Eddie Shore! Piss on Eddie Shore!

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:48 PM on December 01, 2005

I can't even speak right now. I'll wait to see the new guys play before I totally freak out, but I have a feeling there's going to be a serious freak-out in my future.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:23 PM on December 01, 2005

Be strong, Samsonov. It's gonna be okay, especially if the Bruins aren't done dealing. They've got some wiggle room to trade up somewhere else, and they'd do good to use it.

posted by chicobangs at 07:08 PM on December 01, 2005

Sturm scores the first goal and gets a helper and Boston shuts out Ottawa? The trade is ... a success!

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:55 PM on December 01, 2005

So one win equals trade success? Wait til' April before making that judgement.

posted by mkn at 10:41 PM on December 01, 2005

Domi - " embarrassment to owners..." "There is a little collusion going on there for sure," Domi said. "It's unfortunate there wasn't a grievance but then again Ted (Saskin) is the leader of the union and he didn't do it. He didn't set the grievance." I've got to agree with Domi on the collusion comment. That the Marchant waiver deal was complete horseshit. Anybody with a brain could see that. Gotta love those loopholes that fly in the face of a 'no trade' clause.

posted by garfield at 09:24 AM on December 02, 2005

I hope Jacobs gets mad at Domi and says something. Then I hope Domi says something back about Jeremy's mom. And then I hope Jacobs yells back and shoves Tie. And I hope they fight. And I hope they show it live on TV. That would be awesome.

posted by 86 at 10:02 AM on December 02, 2005

Exelby wouldn't drop the gloves last night so Domi is a little pent up. Jacobs better set up a dental appointment in advance.

posted by garfield at 10:26 AM on December 02, 2005

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