If the Bruins trade Thornton, where could he go?
As we have been hearing, some are saying that Joe Thornton wants out of Boston. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen as we have yet to hear from Joe himself about his own status. Yes Thornton had a bad playoff, but would he be really that bad if he was 100%? And really they weren’t talking too much about his injury when the bruins were up 3-1 on Montréal, but since they lost, it was all his fault. A team with that kind of talent should have been able to at least win one of the final 3 games of that series. Face it; the entire team blew it, not just Thornton. I still think he is a franchise player worth keeping and I am sure alot of people feel the same way. But if he were to get traded, where could he go? And what could he bring in return to Boston? Seeing how he is quite a big ticket, many teams will shy away from dealing for him as they just can’t afford to do that financially. And seeing how he is a franchise player, there are other teams that may be able to afford to pay him but can’t afford to pay in order to acquire him.
So where could Joe go?
Here are 5 possibilities:
Chicago: this is a team that has young players to trade, could sign glen Murray to join him, and that is willing to spend some cash. Here is what I propose:
To Bos: Brent Seabrook, Steve McCarthy, Mikhail yakubov Tyler arnason and mark bell
To Chi: Thornton, hal gill
The bruins would get 5 young players that will be nhlers. Seabrook is a blue chip blue line prospect, McCarthy is only 23 and has 5 years of NHL experience already, bell and arnason are established NHL forwards and yakubov is a skilled prospect that will add depth to the organization. Bell is obviously the key. He is big and skilled and will put up decent numbers. This is the equivalent to 5 first round picks that would have to be given up if Thornton was signed to an offer sheet and the deal was not matched by Boston. So I think that would be a very good package for Boston.
As for the hawks, they get a top notch centre which they have not had since roenick and they could also bring in Murray to play with him. With Thornton and ruuttu, they could have the most formidable 1-2 centre combination since sakic/forsberg, fedorov/yzerman who have been so dominant in the recent history.
Detroit: the wings have the cash to spend, would love to get a talented centre to build the team around after yzerman retires and is more than willing to trade its young talent to get what they want. They too could also bring in Murray to join him.
To bos: datsyuk, zetterberg, Fischer
To det: Thornton, lapointe
Keep in mind that Thornton is only 25, so giving up 26 year old datsyuk and 24 year old zetterberg won’t hurt that much. And they have grigorenko and hudler almost ready to join the wings so they have some strong young talent in the organization. Lapointe would be a natural to come back to Detroit to add the toughness and grit that they seemed to be lacking in the last 2 playoffs. Rumors have Murray coming to Detroit and if Thornton does come here, those rumors may be more truth than we think.
In this deal at least the bruins would net a top centre in return and a top winger as well. Datsyuk is magic with the puck and zetterberg is a fine two way threat. They would not be far off from being a playoff team as the B’s have strong goaltending and defense already. Their nucleus would be young and with a few veterans here and there could still be competitive. They won’t have the big horse in Thornton and with their UFA losses, their team will obviously not be as good as last years division winners but I think they could still compete with this group in the wide open east. They really could use some more size and grit at forward if this deal happened though as they would have smallish players in datsyuk, zetterberg, boyes, axelsson, samsonov, Bergeron at forward.
New Jersey: it is no secret that the devils could sure use to get bigger and tougher up front.
To bos:Gomez, langenbrunner, 1st round pick, hrdina
To NJ: Thornton
it does seem to be alot to trade but the devils are deep in young talent with parise, suglobov, foster among others coming and this deal doesn’t touch their deep and talented defense. Thornton will give them something they haven’t had since holik and arnott, a big rugged centre.
For the B’s it means getting a decent no 1 centre in Gomez but who is still young and will provide the points. And it brings them a couple of solid NHL wingers to replace the departed UFAs. And they get futures in a first round pick.
Florida: Keenan loves Thornton. He coached him in Boston and would love to get him for his team in Florida.
To bos: Weiss, huselius, shvidki, nedorost, vanryn, biron, 1st round pick
To Fla: Thornton, lapointe, gill
This would be the bruins completely rebuilding. Vanryn with Boynton and Stuart will form a top 3 for the next ten years on the blueline in front of young raycroft so the backend is fine. And Weiss, huselius, shvidki, nedorost join boyes, Samuelsson, Bergeron, Hilbert giving them alot of young talent up front. And after this Thornton trade, likely samsonov and gonchar will be dealt too for more young prospects. Really giving them a deep pool of young talent that could come together in a few years to compete. And better still for Dr Jacobs, they would be cheap.
Keenan gets what he wants and then some in this deal, he gets the size, toughness and grit that the panthers need. Thornton, Horton, jokinen, Stewart will form quite a powerful group (physically) of forwards in Florida. They still have plenty of young talent leftover to compensate for this trade.
Toronto: now here is not really a reality but a fantasy of mine. Just a team that Thornton could want to play for since he is an Ontario guy. And this is just to wet the appetite of those leaf fans out there (and to piss off non leaf fans). too bad this will never come true but then again gretzky in his prime was traded for jimmy Carson among others so you just never know…….(and the leafs could afford the 15 mil that Mcnall stole to give to another crook in peter pockets).
To bos:coliacovo, 1st round pick, kaberle, antropov, ponikarovsky, wellwood,
5 first round picks due to the B’s not matching an offer sheet.
To tor: Thornton, (and gill if it is a trade)
All the young talent outside of stajan, tellqvist and Steen were dealt away in this deal by the buds but it would be worth it. Thornton is the real deal and would be the guy in his prime to adequately take over for sundin who is kinda getting up there in age. this is what the leafs need because they are too good to draft their own franchise player due to them usually being near the top of the standings and due to them trading away alot of draft picks. But Thornton is a cant miss and would be the cornerstone of the leafs for the next 10 years.
the B’s obviously are getting alot of young talent in return, no franchise guy mind you but with all those UFAs leaving, if Thornton gets moved for prospects then so will likely samsonov and gonchar for the same thing which means thicker wallets for Dr Jacobs as he saves money having a young team. He cares more about the bottom line more than anything else. that would be the only ever possible way for the leafs and B’s to make a deal is if Dr Jacobs only cares about the bottom line and how much he will save instead of dishing out a multi year multi million dollar deal.
So there you have it. My take on Joe Thornton. I personally think he is going to stay in Boston, but you never know ever since the Gretzky deal, you just never know………