Over a year later…

About 3 weeks ago was the anniversary of the Joe Thornton trade that sent him to the SJ Sharks in exchange for Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm, and Brad Stuart. This, at the time was currently looked at as a HORRIBLE trade for the Boston Bruins. And this became an even stronger opinion after Thornton had a fantastic finish to the season, and walked away with the Art Ross, as well as the Hart Trophy, while the Boston Bruins had a year to forget. Well its now over a year later and most people’s opinion have not changed. ‘THE BRUINS GOT SCREWED!’ Well, this article is being used to give a detailed rebuttal on why, not only did they not ‘get screwed’, but it fact, the Bruins have WON THIS TRADE! (However so has SJ….)Whether accidental or not, many positive things have resulted in this trade for the Bruins.

FIRST- As soon as Joe Thornton left the team, there was a larger role put into place for the Bruin’s Patrice Bergeron. Over the last year, Patrice Bergeron has turned himself into a 21 year old leader of the Boston Bruins. He has become a dominant player with his new responsibilities, and is currently on pace for roughly a 100 point campaign, AS A 21 YEAR OLD! But this is not the time to praise him with the other reasons he is such an incredible talent.. It is arguable as to whether or not he would be this good if he was behind the spotlight of Big Joe!

SECOND- The emergence of Brad Stuart this year has been a treat to watch. He has contributed some big goals, but what is going unnoticed by those not following the Bruins, is how well he has been doing away from the puck. He is second on the team in hits, and has been far and away, the Bruins #2 D-man, and a damn good one at that! He has been great defensively, and every game he keeps on showing how valuable of an asset he is. He has been one of the best half-surprises this year. Look for the Bruins to make a very valiant effort to resign him after January 1 (the time where his new contract wouldn’t impact this years cap).

THIRD- After last year, with Thornton being gone, and Zhamnov being a huge bust and being forced to retire, the Bruins needed to add a top end center. In comes the signing of Marc Savard. Almost EVERYONE (don’t deny it, you did) said that Savard would not come close to putting up the 97 points he did for the Thrashers. Well he has done an excellent job proving everyone wrong in this respect! He has turned Glen Murray back into the 40+ goal scorer (on pace for 45) that no one thought he could be again without Joe. Just to update everyone on Marc Savard vs. Joe Thornton:
Savard- 31 GP 11 Goals 30 Assists for 41 PTS +3

Thornton 34 GP 9 Goals 30 Assists for 39 PTS -5

Savard is on pace for 29 Goals 79 Assists 108 PTS- Surpassing the number ‘he wouldn’t match’ by 11 pts!

Thornton is on pace for 22 Goals 72 Assists 94 PTS

PLEASE NOTE: Thornton is a -5 on an obviously better team, while Savard is +3…

FOURTH- This is another thing that at the beginning of the trade, could obviously have not been predicted, but has worked out for the B’s. But nonetheless, I’m mentioning it…. After the trade last year, Boston had a terrible season, and the result of this would be a top 5 pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft. This would turn out to be a blessing, as the Bruins were able to pick up Phil Kessel. No need for me to tell people about him, everyone knows… While he has not excelled this year yet, he has still shown potential to be a lethal goal scorer in the NHL. To add this young talent to an already young Bruins core, was a huge bonus for the Bruins. Mark my words- THIS KID WILL BE GREAT! One of my personal favourites..

Lastly, let me make it clear that I am aware, that all 3 of the players received (Sturm, Stuart, Primeau) are UFAs at the end of this year. This gives the potential to have nothing to show for the trade…. I am not aware of their intentions with Sturm or Primeau, but the Bruins organization is going to do whatever it takes to get Stuart under contract!

Hopefully this article has shown people that a year later, the Bruins are a better team NOW, and for the future because of the Joe Thornton trade, that at one point was dubbed ‘one of the worst trades ever made’


13 Responses to Over a year later…

  1. ranger_fan says:

    Joe Thornton is a unique top talent. Had O’Connell made a few more calls, he could have gotten more.. a la a top pick. Sturm and Primeau will leave after this season, and SJ will still have an elite forward. I did just watch the Bruins last night as a matter of fact, and finally Tim Thomas showed why he got that contract. Sturm and Savard looked solid, and Eaves had a nice cheap shot in the third.

  2. 92-93 says:

    i still stand by what i said that day (http://www.hockeytraderumors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5895).

    “his is a huge trade. and both teams won big time. all i can say that it is bad news for everyone in the East and in the NE, the Bruins are going to really improve and join the big 7 – Sabres, Leafs, Habs, Devils, Rangers, Isles and Canes – for the battle for the final 5 playoff spots in the East (assuming that TB and Philly take over and keep first place in their respective divisions).

    “The bad news is that they no longer have a big time centre. they have lots of wingers though. they might have to pull off another trade to get a centre. in any case, the decisions made in the offseason have not worked or are injured (many of these decisions were initially praised by people here on HTR while, simultaneously, many dissed JFJ’s supposed ‘inactivity’ – just had to slip that one in there).

    perhaps the B’s could have got a better deal! but they do get a solid D-guy, another winger, and a checking centre. i think in the long run, this trade will help the Bruins especially on the defensive side, but they need a centre badly. as for the sharks. i picked them to win the cup and they certainly are not going to make the playoffs at this rate. Joe Thornton could be the big name guy to get them back in the race.”

    Then i read some of the posts on that thread and said:

    “wow, i’ve just read some of the above posts… geesh, i know this was a shocker and that there are certainly some questions out there about how this will pan out, but some of the reactions here are a little over the top!

    the way these 2 teams were going, neither one of them were going to make the playoffs and the bruins have had a history of losing in the first round. that’s a lot of money that the bruins had tied up in thornton – even if he deserved it. they’ve got a surplus of defensemen, some cap room, and maybe another trade in them for a solid centre (but probably not enough for a first-line centre). in any case, the point is, settle down. i think time will tell how this worked out for both teams – obviously – and i think that the Bruins didn’t get shafted as much as people think.

    i understand the harsh reactions – like the leafs losing sundin – but there has to be some positives here too! The Bruins didn’t go anywhere with Thornton in the line-up. maybe this is the best move for both parties. Thronton gets to play with the Sharks and try to lead them to playoff success, the Bruins have an entirely new dynamic working for them to try and get past the first round.”

  3. 92-93 says:

    the bruins have a great core of young talent (not to mention Rask and Kessel). they had money freed up from that trade to go out and get guys like Chara and Savard and they did the necessary off-season front office changes. good for them.

  4. 92-93 says:

    haha… i just read the part about Philly and TB. .. boy i was way off on that one!!

  5. Tachmo says:

    I am a hard core bruins fan and really like the young core of players. It gives light at the end of the tunnel. Which could be a very short tunnel. They have a great depth of young fast forwards, which I believe is the key to this new NHL. See Buffalo. No real superstars but a plethera of young fast forwards.

    I am not sold on Brad Stuart. However he is playing better now. For a period of time it seemed like he was on the ice for every goal scrored by the opposition. He single handedly costed them a few games early in the season. He has defensive breakdowns in the neutral zone and in his own end which really cost them. I won’t even get into Jason York, because he looks like he should be playing Junior B somewhere. They really need to stop dressing him. Maybe that is bringing Stuart down because York is his defence pairing.

    Stuart has the tools to really excell as a front line blueliner, he is a great skater, with a good shot and good offensive instincts. but still needs some grooming.

    An no point am I going to justify the Thornton trade. That was a huge mistake and the Bruins are very fotunate that Mr. Chiarelli has been able to re assemble this club back to legitmacy in a short period. Thornton is worth the league maximum, has heart, and is awesome. You don’t let those guys get away. Thornton was shown no credit, for carrying this team on his back for several years. Took the blame for losing to Montreal in the first round with cracked ribs. The city didn’t rally behind their captain and neither did management. That was joke! The guy shouldn’t even been playing. But if he didn’t play they would have questioned his heart. He was screwed either way. I guess the city of Boston didn’t deserve Big Joe.

    It’s too bad Boston couldn’t have kept Thornton, and simply upgraded their back end. That would have given them (2) quality centerman, other teams would drool over.

    All in all I am happy with how Boston is sitting now. They are competitive and will continue to get better.

  6. leafmeister says:

    In no way shape or form was the Joe Thornton trade a good deal. It had its assets but they could have gotten Marleau or kept him. They got three rental players for that. Do you think that Kessel will be better than Thornton.

  7. PTack says:

    Wow Marc Savard Getting mentioned? Thats a rarity…guess all those 4-5 pt nights are getting him noticed finally. Anyways hes by far the bruins’ best player and no one knows it haha hes probably the most underrated player in the league. I mean even last year on his 97 pts he wasnt mentioned and no it wasnt a fluke look back to his season before that 52 pts in 45 games. Hes currently tied for 10th spot in scoring and has played roughly 3 games less (except crosby) than everyone above him in scoring…so look for him to move up. Even with all of this hes still relatively unknown…its a shame.

  8. bruinfan37 says:

    The kid has played in 20 NHL games…. I’m not making that kind of statement. He will undoubtably be a better pure goal scorer, he just won’t be the complete player Thornton is….
    But even with that said, it doesnt take away from how good of a player Kessel could be!

  9. FrankTheTank3388 says:

    Thank you! I’m a huge Bruins fan so I’ve already thought about this over and over and over again.

    First – Bergeron was given a much bigger role. One that he needed. The best thing is that he could easily make the top line center on any team. Yet, right now, Bruins are playing him on the second line! Having two potential top line centers is key, especially when we have both over the next 4 years!

    Second – Thank you for mentioning Brad Stuart! I love this guy. He’s been doing a hell of a lot better than Chara in my opinion. I think he’s leading the team in blocked shots too. He does everything you need to stop the puck from getting to the net. This guy deserves a huge pay raise next year!

    Third – YES! Finally, somebody mentions Savard. I was one of the VERY VERY few people who believed Marc Savard was the real deal. I always had faith in him. I knew he could still easily average a point a game, no problem at all for him. And look, career potential on TSN a second line center? That’s BS and you know it! This guy IS the #1 center for the Bruins. And I am so thankful that we also have this guy locked up long term. Analysists already said at the start of the year that the Bruins will be a serious Cup contender in 3 years, I personally see them as contenders now, but with a 1-2 punch like Savard and Bergeron and the rest of the youth on the team maturing, we’ll be amazing.

    Fourth – Phil Kessel is amazing. I know he isn’t have that great of a season, but he’s just 19! He shouldn’t be doing amazing or anything just yet. He’s shined in his opportunities. He’s still making some rookie mistakes and needs to work on his defense, but that’s ok! Give him a few years and he’ll be scoring goals left and right.

    As for the UFA situation, here’s what I think will happen:

    Stuart – Resign this guy, we need to keep him, he was the main part of the trade.
    Sturm – We will probably trade him at the deadline. He already announced he’s going to test the market. Maybe he’ll change his mind.
    Primeau – We’ll probably drop him, he is a good presence and always puts forth 100%, but I think the B’s need to free up a bit of Cap space with him. I think it would’ve been smarter if we kept Travis Green than Primeau.

    Also, I just have one more thing to say, how about that Andy Alberts? Just a sophomore, leading the team with +/-! He’s already smart enough to know how to handle any situation and always lays the body. I love this guy. He was definately a steal in the draft!

  10. Tachmo says:

    I agree with most of your statements. I have noticed you are a big bruins fan. me too. The Bruins are young and fast. I love it. Another thing has to be said about the depth. With Kessel and Axelson going, they had (4) lines that could score. However something has to be done to avoid the inconsistencies. They tend to break down defensively from time to time and get blown out. For example they are down early 2-0 or 3-0 and they don't recover. They end up losing bad. Even though I like the makeup of the defence, I think they are one good dman away from seriously contending this year. I guess every team could say that. 
    Primeau is a key player to the team, he is great defensively and has developed speed later in his career. The combination of him and Donovan are huge, and I don't think you want to lose that on this team. Travis Green was horrible, the man could barely skate and would give Andreychuk a good go in that department.

  11. leaferdude2 says:

    i don't follow the bruins that much but when i've watched them, stuart has been better than chara at some times. don't get me wrong, chara one hell of a defenceman and a terrific all-round player but he should be if he's making that much dough per season. brad's been good with and without the puck this year and he's making way less cash. so, that's why i think that stuart( if the b's don't re-sign him) should be one of the most coveted free-agents this offseason.

  12. Aetherial says:

    Thanks for this article. It was an interesting read.

  13. doubleculprit says:

    Came across this post today. And well its probably water under the bridge at this point, I just wanted to add that I couldn't disagree more. I think The Thornton deal has set this team back a decade. You can compare numbers all you want, but the point is there is no better center in the game today than Joe Thornton. As he proved last year.

    Savard is great, but was not part of the deal so lets leave that out of it. For what we got in return, Stuart is way overrated, Primeau is a checking line center who has his moments, and Stum has potential but is invisible on some nights. Not to mention all of these guys ar unrestricted at years end.

    What gets me the most though is how everyone seems to think that Stuart is so great. He cant play the power play, hes not a great skater or puck mover. He blocks some shots yeah, but is on the ice alot when the other team scores. He gets beat all the time. I can't stand the guy. And it drives me crazy when people alude to him being the center piecee to the Thornton deal. Hes not even in the same league as Thornton. Hes crazy if he thinks hes going to get 5 mill per next season. There are alot of D men I would pick over him. For what its worth I thnk Alberts has had a better year than he has. My thoughts anyway.

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