San Jose Sharks Acquire Center Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins
JOE THORNTON WITH 2004 WORLD CUP TROPHY - PHOTOFILE
A press release from the San Jose Sharks:
SHARKS ACQUIRE C JOE THORNTON FROM THE BOSTON BRUINS
Defenseman Brad Stuart and Forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau Sent to Boston in Exchange for 1997 NHL First Overall Selection
SAN JOSE - Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has acquired three-time NHL All-Star center Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins in exchange for defenseman Brad Stuart and forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau.
Thornton, 26, has scored 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) in 23 games this season, ranking first on Boston and (entering tonight's games) tied for 11th in league scoring. Thornton is signed through the 2007-08 season.
"Joe Thornton is the whole package and we think is one of the top players in the game. This is a player that I would have acquired at any time. When a player of this caliber becomes available, you have to step up. We think he will be a great addition to this hockey club."
Selected by Boston with the first overall pick in 1997, he was named the 17th captain in Bruins history on October 8, 2002, Thornton has reached the 20+ goal mark in five consecutive seasons and led Boston in 2003-04 in assists (50) and points (73) for the third time in his career. He recorded his 400th NHL/Bruins point with an assist February 5, 2004 at Buffalo.
Entering tonight's game, Thornton has scored the most career points (354) among all NHL players 26 and younger, ahead of Marian Hossa (418), Sergei Samsonov (362) and Patrick Marleau (350).
He has played in three NHL All-Star games (2004, 2003, 2002), including being named a starter for the Eastern Conference Team at the 2004 NHL All-Star Game in Minnesota.
The six-foot-four, 225-pound native of London, Ontario spent the 2004-05 season with Davos in Switzerland, leading that team and finishing seventh overall in league scoring with 54 points (10 goals, 44 assists) and 80 PIM in 40 games. During the postseason, he led the league in playoff scoring with 14 points (4 goals, 20 assists) in 14 games as Davos won the Swiss League Championship.
In 2002-03, finished third overall in the League's Art Ross scoring race as one of just three NHL players to hit the 100+ point mark and was second overall in the League in assists. He became just the third player in Boston history to score 100 points with 100+ penalty minutes, joining Bobby Orr (1960-70, 1971-72 and 1974-75) and Ken Hodge (1971-72)...
Prior to making his mark in the NHL, Thornton played two seasons of junior hockey in Sault Ste. Marie/OHL scoring 198 points (71 goals, 127 assists) and 174 PIM in 125 career games. He was named the top rookie in all of Canadian major junior hockey in 1995-96 and earned a spot on the CHL All-Rookie Team. He finished second in the OHL in scoring in 1996-97 with 122 points in 59 games and earned OHL Second Team All-Star honors that season.
Thornton was the youngest member of Team Canada that won the Gold medal in the 1997 World Junior Championships, scoring four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in seven games. He played in the 2001 World Championships with Team Canada scoring two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in six games. In addition, Thornton won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2004 World Cup, posting six points (1-5=6) in six games.
He is a cousin of current Sharks winger Scott Thornton and has played with Kyle McLaren (in Boston) and Marleau and Scott Hannan on various squads for Team Canada.
Stuart, the Sharks first round selection (3rd overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, has posted 153 points (36 goals, 117 assists) in 377 NHL games, all with San Jose. This season, Stuart posted two goals and ten assists for 12 points in 23 games. Stuart leaves tied for second with Marcus Ragnarsson on the Sharks all-time points list among defensemen, just two points shy of Mike Rathje's 155.
Sturm, selected by San Jose in the first round (21st overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, has posted 273 points (128 goals, 145 assists) in 553 NHL games, all with San Jose. This season, he had 16 points (six goals, ten assists) in 23 games. Sturm leaves as the fifth leading scorer on the Sharks all-time points list.
Primeau, acquired from Pittsburgh on March 11, 2003 in exchange for Matt Bradley, played in 100 games for San Jose, posting 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists). In 520 NHL games, Primeau has 136 points (47 goals, 89 assists).
"These three individuals are not only outstanding hockey players but quality people as well," said Wilson. "We wish them the best and thank them for their contributions to the San Jose Sharks."
Joe Thornton's career summary from Hockey Forecaster. A scouting report on Super Joe:
ASSETS: Possesses great on-ice vision and creates numerous scoring chances for his linemates. Uses his reach to make things happen. Has terrific size and strength with the puck.
FLAWS: Can be undisciplined at times and take foolish penalties. Has yet to come up big in the postseason. His mental game needs work.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Franchise center.
The redoubtable but nattily attired Barry Melrose commented on the trade for Sportscenter with Steve Levy. Here are few rough quotes:
[Steve Levy] Does the team that gets the best player win, in this case the Sharks with Joe Thornton?
[A] The Bruins were in trouble. The coaches were going to get fired, the players were going to get fired... No one thought it was going to be Thornton...
We all love Joe Thornton, but he has not got it done in the playoffs. Joe Thornton is one of the highest paid players today and he hasnt been one of the best players in the playoffs. He is still young. This is a wake up call for Joe. He will use this as a motivating factor... It will be a great start for Thornton on the West Coast, not as much media.
Dont forget they get Thornton and Marleau. Marleau was the second player chosen in the draft, Thornton went first. Now they have Thornton and Marleau 1, 2. No one has better centerman than that.
More from Melrose courtesy of Sabre Rattling can be found here: Sabres are the hottest team in hockey. Even more from Melrose, thanks to Jason for sending this in: Thornton didn't live up to Bruins' expectations - ESPN.
Joe Thornton is 26 years old, and was drafted first overall by the Boston Bruins in 1997. Patrick Marleau was drafted second overall by the San Jose Sharks. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Thornton signed a 3-year $20 million deal with Boston in August. Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau made $2 million, $1.9 million, and $1,1 million respectively this season according to NHLPA.com.