Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Breaking News: Bruins Swap Thornton to San Jose

In a surprising move, two struggling NHL teams have agreed to a major trade.

The Boston Bruins, last in their division, have traded Captain Joe Thornton to San Jose. In return, the Bruins will receive Defenseman Brad Stuart, and Forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau.

I don't think anyone saw this move coming. There was talk that Joe wasn't happy in Beantown, and would test the market as an unrestricted free agent this coming summer. Of course, that talk died when he signed a 3 year deal in the summer. Now, they've sent him packing for a puck-moving defenseman who's yet to live up to his potential, and two character forwards.

While the B's have struggled out of the gate, I don't think Thornton is the source of their problems. He's scored 33 points in 23 games, and largely hasn't dissapointed me after I took him 1st overall in my fantasy league. The B's have struggled with injuries, and inconsistency from Goalie Andrew Raycroft. Stuart fills their long-term need for a puck-moving defenseman, but I don't understand the rationale in giving up Big Joe. Perhaps they feel that guys like Sergei Samsonov and Patrice Bergeron can pick up the offensive slack, but I don't see that happening. For the Sharks, they're now 2 deep with franchise Centers, but are weaker on defense, which has been their biggest problem all year. This doesn't make a lot of sense in the short term for either team, and provides each team with long term questions on offense (Boston) and defense (San Jose).

I just don't get it. I can understand the desire to shake up your team when you've struggled out of the gate, as both of these teams have, but this seems like an awfully drastic move, especially for Boston. I don't like this trade in the short-term, and I think it will haunt them in the long term as Thornton will put up 100-point seasons in the Shark Tank for a long time.

One final factoid: The Sharks now have the first 2 picks from the 1997 draft in their lineup - Thornton and Marleau. There is one other pair of top 2 picks from the same draft who played together for a (semi)extended period of time. Points to anyone who can name them in our comments thread. Also, if you can name the 2 pairs of top 2 picks (each from the same draft) who were traded for each other, then you might be want to consider applying for this show.


At 8:38 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Aren't there SIX other pairs? Samsonov and Thornton, Boynton and Thornton, Samsonov and Boynton, Luongo and Brewer, Cleary and Brewer,as well as Jokinen and Luongo? And Riesen would have played with Cleary and Brewer, even if for but a short while. And now Hannan and Thornton will play together. Maybe I am confused by what you mean by "Top 2 picks." If you meant the 3 & 4 overall picks, it would be Luongo and Olli.

And yes, I looked this up. I have no illusions about my draft memory.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Sorry, I meant #1 and #2 overall from the same draft. And I had to look all this stuff up too.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Matt said...

OK, without looking it up, I know that Berard and Redden were traded for each other, and that Hamrlik and Yashin played together for the previous couple years for the Islanders. Don't know who the other guys traded for each other were, I'll sleep on it.

At 12:32 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Abboud, you must be wrong. Hamrlik and Yashin played together, but didn't Faloon and Lindros, too?

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Alex said...

Matt's right about Berard and Redden.

As for the teammates, you're both right. I had forgotten that Falloon spent time in Philadelphia.

I've also since discovered that there's a third pair, who spent as many seasons together as the Hamrlik-Yashin and Lindros-Falloon pairs combined.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Matt said...

The Oil traded Jimmy Carson for Joe Murphy, they were the top 2 in 86.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Ah, yes! Looking over the old 1st round stats, it's 1978 that stands out. Bobby Smith and Ryan Walter were both traded to the Habs within a season or so of each other, and played together at least 5 years.

"The first Star - la premiere etoile - Rye-Ann Wall--turrrr"

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Well done Matt!

If only your taste in hockey teams were as good as your knowledge of hockey trivia.


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