Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Lanny McDonald for Don Lever & Bob Macmillan

"You would make this trade last month, this month or next year." - Sharks GM Doug Wilson, after trading Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm, and Wayne Primeau for Joe Freaking Thornton

Doug Wilson, a humble man, understates things considerably. So do you pity Bruins fans, or figure they should have seen it coming? They're like the woman who won't leave no matter how much the old man smacks her around.

Or maybe tonight, they're more like Jackie Chiles: "This is the most public yet of my many humiliations."

Pierre Maguire is blustery by nature, but he was downright outraged on behalf of Bruins Fan tonight. And no wonder! Joe Thornton still has things to prove for sure. But he's a Top 5 NHL forward, and he got traded for two above-average yet utterly replaceable players. Mike O'Connell is insane, and/or very, very bad at his job.

And note to Sharks fans who are a little melancholy about seeing a couple of team pillars go: when the Flames made the trade in the post header, my initial reaction was, "oh...I liked Don Lever". This is good news for you.

Aw, crap. I just realized that means it's bad news for Flames fans.


I feel a Simmons post coming. Hopefully it won't be as retarded as his last NHL article.

That is one of the most lopsided trades ever. The only possibility is that they want to move Bergeron up and use some money to spend in the free agency next year. What are the dollar comparisons in the deal?

Money for free agency? Let's hope not, since what the FUCK could you hope to sign that would be better than Joe Thornton? Isn't he 26?

The 3 guys make $5M this year, contracts vary in length as I recall. JT makes $6.6666... $20M over 3 years, this is the first year. Boston saves $1.66M this year, and presumably more than that over the next 2. It'd be pretty sad if that was the reason this happened. (Tough to make a buck in a small hockey market like Boston, you know...) you start the year off underachieving. Obviously, the solution is to trade your best players and get next to nothing in return...

I thought this was a joke at first when I glanced at the headline. This has to qualify as one of the most one sided deals ever made. They traded a bona fide number one center for second liners. I can't even begin to comprehend why this was done unless Joe Thorton stormed into the owner's box and punched him in the mouth. And EVEN could get alot more for Joe Thorton than what the Sharks ponied up.

"Aw, crap. I just realized that means it's bad news for Flames fans."

I'm assuming you wrote this based on the notion that any improvement in the Western Conference = trouble for your team. I was thinking the same thing about the Oilers at first, but now I'm not so sure:

I think the greater challenge our teams face against a presumably improved Sharks team is more than offset by the fact that the Sharks will be disporportionately bleeding more points from the Pacific division teams they face most often, thus lessening the risk that more than 2 of the Coyotes, Kings, Sharks and Stars will make the playoffs.

How many times do we play teams from the Pacific Division?

Chris, if you believe Bob McKenzie, other GM's around the league had no inkling, so the inference is that the Bruins weren't shopping for the best deal, even on the QT. If there is any truth to that, Jacobs/Sinden/O'Connell must have simply wanted Thornton out, because there is no other reason not to have asked around. I know teams that might normally be interested could have been cap-strung, but not sniffing around for the best deal seems deeply negligent.

Point one: there's no question that the trade is a little lopsided from a talent standpoint, but I wonder if people aren't selling Brad Stuart a little short? He is a hell of a player, of his kind. It's not like the Bruins will have trouble finding room for all three guys.

Point two: Thornton is obviously kind of a jagoff. I do think Boston would have been distinctly better off without him in the playoffs "last year." Yeah, fine, he was hurt (inchoately). We've all seen Doug Weight and Steve Yzerman set the tone despite being hurt. Every facial expression and gesture on Thornton was screaming "We give up" in that Montreal series. He is so talented that he's going to be the team leader wherever he goes, and he has to behave accordingly.

(Related) point three: Ewing Theory. I'll go on record as saying the Bruins will now go on a tear. (Their W-L record right now is largely a product of being in a hellish division.) The question is how long it will last.

And, yes, it is still a hell of a tough move to defend. I was in the bar going "Why's Thornton getting so much screen time?

Wait--he's going WHERE? For who???"

Yeah, as an Oilers fan, I'm not that worried about the Sharks this year (next year will be a differnt story). I don't think they've improved enough with the loss of those players to pass the three teams ahead of them by the end of the season, and hopefully it'll lead to some attrition in the pacific that makes all teams all the more mediocre.

Still, I would have preferred that he stay in the East.

Just heard Don Taylor on Sportsnet News: "The only way this deal makes sense for Boston is if the Sharks are sending them Jason Maas at the end of the season."

Yes, Thornton is kind of a jag-off, and there's 30 teams who would like to have Brad Stuart on their blueline. But it's WAAAYYY lopsided, this trade. I guess there's some Ewing Theory potential--take Joe away from last year's 104pt. Bruins team, and you should still have a playoff team, right?--but they're not a better team without him, period. A little streak now, while entirely possible, doesn't change that.

Man, I checked this thread before I had heard of the news last night and saw Andy mentioning Bergeron in the first comment.

For a brief second I thought that we had landed Thornton for M-A Bergeron.

Now that would have been lopsided.

To get to 95 pts at season's end, the Sharks need 75 in their last 58 games. That point rate (1.293/game) translates to 106 over a full season. Quite achievable: they had 104 last year, also with a bad start.

But! I'm not worried about whether they make the playoffs; that still leaves plently of room for my team. The prospect of facing them in the playoffs now, however, is less appealing than ever.

Just a couple of points on Colby's remarks...

I remember someone (ex-NHLer, can't remember who) commenting, after finding out about Thornton's injury in the playoffs, that when he had a similar injury he couldn't even get up out of bed, that it hurt just to breathe, and he was amazed that Joe was even playing.

Also, it was the entire Bruin team which fell apart against the Habs. Their D was atrocious the entire series, Raycroft started strong then became a problem, and at times it seemed like Joe was the only one forechecking. It didn't help the Montreal's goalie turned into a brick wall, as well.

But I couldn't agree more about Stuart. He's very good, and any team would be thrilled to have him.

If this was a city with a major hockey markey, ie. Toronto-Montreal-Detroit, and lesser so, Alberta, then that team who got Thornton would be the talk of the month. Instead, we get a comment from Scott Thornton saying "I look forward to playing with my cousin, but I will miss those three guys." Thats the best the Sharks can do? Its Joe Freakin' Thornton!

If the Oilers somehow had managed to get Thornton, people would be like, yay, the Grey Cup win was alright I guess, but the oilers just got Joe Freakin' Thornton, now lets have a real parade!

Good point, bing, considering when they got Mike Peca, it was like "Christmas morning".

Well Well Eklund missed this trade? How is that possible I have at E1 level he is and remains a dumb ass. Well this really good for the Sharks wonder how Joe is going to like the travel?

It was like Christmas morning. What, you never had a Christmas present fall apart by New Year's?

HA! I just won $5. I predicted early this morning that Matt would find a way of slagging Peca with reference to the JT trade.

So predictable.

I must admit that it crossed my mind that if the Bruins had called us, we might have been able to get rid of Peca. I know the Bruins wanted a back-liner, but for what they got in return, I am convinced they woud have taken anything. I wonder how many GM's out there are scratching their heads or kicking themselves for not making a random call to O'Connell.

Naturally, chief, I'm happy for your newfound riches. But the standard for what constitutes slagging Peca includes 'implying that he's a lesser player than Joe Thornton', well, maybe I won't be able to stay off of Mikey's back.

The answer to Grabia's question is probably 15, +/- five.

Bwaaa. Are you kidding me?

Is there any particular reason you picked Peca out of the several hundred other NHL players that are "lesser players than Joe Thornton"?

I suppose that you are just really keen to ensure that this blog maintains its Oiler content. On behalf of all Oiler fans I appreciate the sentiment.

Here is an interesting breakdown of the deal from the Star. Turns out the Bruins had been shopping him for awhile, and that Thornton is choked about how the deal went down.

Oh, cripes Bob! bing said: "If the Oilers somehow had managed to get Thornton, people would be like, ...lets have a real parade!"

I was agreeing with him, since the reaction to the Peca acquisition included a notable Oilers fan writing, "What is this, Christmas morning?" It is irrelevant whether Peca has lived up to expectations, exceeded them, or fallen short: the reaction to acquiring Joe Thornton in Edmonton would certainly have been a lot more enthusiastic than what we've heard out of San Jose so far.

Did anyone else see yesterday how listed the best player in each sport to NOT win a championship, and they had Pronger listed as best hockey player? I thought that would generate more talk, but alas those damn bruins had to go and make that trade.

And I remember when Peca only used to get teased for his name, ah the good ol' days.

You have it right on the mark Matt, Edmonton thought they won the lottery with the Peca signing. They would have booked the stanley cup parade this morning had Lowe been able to get Thornton in a trade.

Isn't there a Simpsons reference about it being as good as a thousand christmases? or my favourite, Hmoer saying it being "groin-grabbingly good" But where's San Jose's love? show some love Sharks, you don't suck as bad anymore. and you haven't even played a game yet.

Get real.

I'm not sure I have ever heard a more disingenuous statement from you than this one:

It is irrelevant whether Peca has lived up to expectations, exceeded them, or fallen short.

Honestly, you really expect me to believe that you would have written the same thing if Peca was leading the Oilers in scoring?


Listen, I don't mind if you slag Peca. It's your schtick. I get it. But please don't insult us by pretending--after the fact--that you just bring him up impartially. Considering what a pussy you thought Simmons was for qualifying his pro-T.O. story, I'm suprised that you would try to pull the same stunt.

Weak, my friend, very, very weak.

Fine, I give up. If trading for Mike Peca is like Christmas morning, what should trading for Joe Thornton be like? I'm thinking, "Drinking beer in a hot tub in the Bahamas, naked, with Kirsten Dunst, while watching your best friend win the Masters on TV."

Wait. You're in a hot tub with Kirsten Dunst and you're watching golf on television? Right now even the ragingly gay readers of BoA are going "Dude, that's pretty weak."

Yah, come on Matt, your scenario was good, but it wasn't groin-grabbingly good!

seriously, thats twice that
"groin-grabbingly" has been mentioned in your blog, thats gold Jerry, gold!

Cosh loves the Oilers more than I love a cold beer on a hot Christmas morning.

Cosh loves the oilers more than Michael Bay missed the mark, when he made Pearl Harbour.

'Cause Pearl Harbour sucked, and Cosh loves the oilers....

doo doo dooo dooooo

I hate to interrupt your reverie, there, chief, but the shattered Bruins just beat the world's best team three-zip (and snuffed Heatley's streak) with three points from the new guys. Joe who?

Colby, not sure if Big Joe pissed in your cornflakes or if you were just upset like I was that the stinkin' Habs won, but here's an article about "pillow-soft" Thornton. This is basically like what I remember from the Montreal series...

"Poor Joe, as was finally officially confirmed, played with torn ribcage cartilage near his sternum, as was reported in The Eagle-Tribune on April 4. He suffered the injury in a 3-3 tie against Washington on April 1 and required cortisone shots just to play.

"The nature of that injury is usually a six-week recovery," said Sullivan. "Most players I know would not have played."

"I had that once," Hockey Hall-of-Famer Brad Park told us before last night's game. "Hurt, oh, did that hurt. Then when the doctor comes in and puts a needle in your chest, you say, 'Whoa, do I want this?' I'll give him credit for going through that."

"If you've ever hurt your ribs, you know. It's probably the worst pain you can have," said defenseman Nick Boynton. "It hurts when you breathe, when you move, when you try to sleep. I don't think a lot of people could have done what he did."

"You've got to do the best you can do," said Thornton.

"He's not one to complain," said teammate Mike Knuble. "You're not going to hear 'Woe is me' from Joe. Everybody's been all over him but he hasn't used it as an excuse."

Thornton's presence may have backfired. The Canadiens were psyched just by shutting him down.

When your fearless leader is rendered ineffective, it doesn't take long to rub off on the opposition. Thornton was a moving target in this series.

Kovalev nailed him good from behind in the third period of Game 4 on a board check. The big center was slow to get up.

In Game 6, Saturday's 5-2 loss setting up last night's call for the wrecker, rookie Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek clocked Thornton at the 5:10 mark of the second period. The score was 1-1 at the time. The expression on Thornton's face told it all. He got up slowly and gingerly skated off to the bench."

It's bullshit. Everybody knew at the time that Thornton was hurt--and nobody who was actually watching the series thought it excused him losing his stick and tackling Zednik, repeatedly whining to the refs with the play still live, dodging the puck in the Habs' zone, ostentatiously giving up when his team got behind, and hiding from the media when his teammates were working overtime every day trying to defend him.

hey, what can I say, maybe his teammates knew the situation better than you or I. The kid has been under massive pressure since he came into the league, everyone expects the world from him. I've seen Super Mario tackle players when he became frustrated, and Wayne & Co. in the 80's whined more than anyone (except maybe Darcy Tucker) at all times during the game. There aren't too many players who haven't gone through bad times or embarrassed themselves.

Anyways, I still remember being more disgusted at the Montreal players who were pretending to be hurt (Robeiro playing dead then magically OK, Kovalev nursing his broken ...what, glove?.. before giving up a goal) than Thornton who actually was hurt. He was young, and hopefully he learned at what point he can help or hurt his team by playing injured.

jh said...
Colby, not sure if Big Joe pissed in your cornflakes wondering why Colby links this post on his website.

Personaly, I never liked Thornton after he beatup veteran Desjardin. Im not full of BS tho. Thornton was a top notch player. Id love to see him on my team for some second liners.

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