[NHL] Joe Thornton traded to Sharks

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The Boston Bruins shipped the superstar forward to San Jose for forwards Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm and defenceman Brad Stuart.

Thornton, 26, is a three-time all-star who had nine goals and 24 assists in 23 games this season for the Bruins. The six-foot-four, 223-pound power forward is due to make $6.66 million US this year.

"He is a leader who scores points and makes other players around him better," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "To get a player of this calibre, you have to give up something to get something. You would make this trade last month, this month or next year. It follows our philosophy of making our team better for this year and next year."

Thornton, the first overall pick in the 1997 NHL entry draft, adds instant scoring punch to a struggling Sharks offence that ranks near the bottom of the league with just 62 goals scored. Thornton, the cousin of Sharks forward Scott Thornton, has 169 goals, 285 assists and 617 penalty minutes in 532 career games. The London, Ont., native had a career-high 101 points (36-65) in 2002-03.

Sturm, a six-foot, 195-pound left-wing, has six goals and 10 assists in 23 games for San Jose. The native of Germany was one of the more consistent forwards for the Sharks, scoring 20 or more goals over the past three seasons.

Sturm has 128 goals and 145 assists in seven-plus seasons with the Sharks, and has represented Germany in two Olympics and three World Cups.

Stuart, of Rocky Mountain House, Alta. has two goals and 10 assists in 23 games this season. The 26-year-old defenceman was selected by San Jose in the 1998 NHL entry draft in the first round, third overall. He has 36 goals and 117 assists in 377 career games with the Sharks.

Primeau, the younger brother of Philadelphia Flyers forward Keith Primeau, had five goals and three assists in 21 games.

The Bruins will save over $1.5 million in the deal, with Sturm making $2 million, Stuart set to make $1.9 million and Primeau earning $1.1 million.

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This is absolutely huge! Did anyone see this one coming? When I heard Sharks I thought of Havlat, but instead the cornerstone of the Bruins franchise!

I suspected Thornton of doing better this year. He has disappointed. The question is, can he thrive in the Sharks system? Whenever someone is traded, one of two things happen: They get on a hot streak or a cold streak. I wouldn't judge him on the first few weeks then.

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Did anyone see this comming? Both the Bruins and Sharks were in a big slump and both teams needed a shake-up. I think the Sharks got the better end of the stick. What you get in Thornton makes up for those 3 players except for the D. But i think the Sharks will still suffice and do better with Big Joe. Bruins just add some depth and a bunch of average players with some specialties.

If both these slumping teams are making big moves you'd think the Habs have something under their sleeves!

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You guys see the Bruins lose to the Devils the other night? Close game. It was exciting for me to watch, I'm not really a fan of either team but it was fun either way.

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Bruins captain shocked by deal

Boston could have shopped around

Dec. 1, 2005. 05:49 AM


Joe Thornton tried, with only limited success, to hide his anger.

"We're not winning. Whose fault is it? Well, I'm out of here, so I guess it's mine," Thornton said last night, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Thornton's eight-year run with the Boston Bruins ended last night with a stunning trade to San Jose, a transaction that caught the entire hockey world by surprise.

Indeed, while rumours that the Bruins might be close to dumping coach Mike Sullivan were intensifying, there wasn't even a sniff that the Bruins, who had signed Thornton to a three-year, $20 million (U.S.) contract in the summer, were willing to try and fix their deteriorating season by dumping their 26-year-old captain.

Thornton was the most stunned of all by the deal, a trade he found out about after finishing dinner with his parents in Boston about 7 p.m.

"They had flown in for the Ottawa game (tonight)," Thornton said. "I knew absolutely nothing. I was totally blindsided.

"Obviously (the Bruins) believed in their coach and GM (Mike O'Connell) and I'm next in line."

The Bruins, now without a big centre in a Northeast Division that includes Jason Spezza in Ottawa and Toronto's Big Three in Mats Sundin, Jason Allison and Eric Lindros, received youth and speed in the deal but no player remotely close to Thornton's stature.

Speedy German winger Marco Sturm, a six-goal man this season, is headed to Boston along with defenceman Brad Stuart, a talented blueliner but also a young player who has yet to live up to his billing as a junior, particularly in terms of offensive production.

The Sharks also threw in checking centre Wayne Primeau in the deal to partially even out the financial end of the swap. Still, the Bruins dumped about $1.6 in this year's salary in the move, plus more than $13 million over the next two years that would have been owed the strapping pivot.

The Bruins, after signing a host of free agents in the summer, had constructed a payroll dangerously close to the $39 million cap. After owner Jeremy Jacobs ripped them for a lack of effort, Boston saved about $1 million by sending centre Dave Scatchard to Phoenix for rearguard David Tanabe, let bruiser Colton Orr and his $450,000 salary go on waivers to the Rangers and also placed veteran Shawn McEachern ($1 million) on waivers with no takers.

At first blush, the deal looks like a panic move between two clubs that were highly ranked by many going into the season but are both mired in last place in their respective divisions after disastrous Novembers.

But while the Sharks, 0-7-3 in their last 10 games after losing to Dallas last night, gained the stud centre they've never had, the Bruins added nothing of major impact unless Stuart, the third choice of the '98 draft, develops into a star.

Indeed, it's hard to look at the deal and believe they shopped around and got the best deal possible. Instead, getting Thornton out of the Eastern Conference and far from Boston was clearly a priority. And after the 6-foot-4 centre lost a faceoff to New Jersey's John Madden in the final minute of regulation Tuesday night that resulted in the winning goal by Alexander Mogilny, the Bruins appeared to have decided that he wasn't the marquee pivot they believed he once was.


In San Jose, Thornton joins his cousin, ex-Leaf Scott Thornton, and Patrick Marleau, the player taken second in the '97 entry draft after Thornton went first.

"At 18, I came to (Boston). I'm 26 now, so I sort of grew up in the city. I love the fans," said an emotional Thornton. "I'm disappointed. But I've got to move on."


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Well the bruins managed to shut out the sens last night so this trade might be good for them after all, well have to wait and see what happens later on in the league.

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ya. Sturm got a goal and an assist last night. I seriously thought Bruins got shafted. Lets see how Thornton does tonight for the Sharks. Apparently he's pairing up with his cousin Scott and Jonathan Cheechoo who he's played with in the minors (I think). So it should be an interesting line for the Sharks.

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