Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: joe thornton
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Should Wilson end up making such a request in the coming days, weeks, even months, Thornton leaves you with the impression that it wouldn’t matter anyway. After he and fellow longtime Shark Patrick Marleau inked extensions back in January, he claims it is his desire to remain in a San Jose jersey for the remainder of his hockey life.
“That’s my plan,” he said. “I signed a three-year extension (worth $20.25 million US) last season in the intent to finish my career as a Shark.”
Even if other teams make a grand pitch to woo him?
“Yes, that’s still my intent (to stay),” he said....
After an internet item last week suggested the Leafs were again looking at the Sharks forward, colleague Terry Koshan immediately received a question from a fan during a Toronto Sun Live Chat about a possible trade scenario involving Thornton. It wasn’t the first time Jumbo Joe’s name has come up in such speculation - and it certainly won’t be the last.
“It’s flattering, sure, that other teams would want to trade assets to acquire me, for sure,” Thornton said. “It’s just like any employee who works for Ford and GM wants you. It’s flattering. That’s the way I look at it.”
You are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Joe Thornton situation (seems like the theory is, "Take the 'C' away, see if he waives the no-trade," as ESPN's Craig Custance reported), you are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Ryan Kesler trade (he says he's going to where deserves to be, and in Vancouver, it's, "Everybody thought he was a dick"), so:
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch pulled double-time in covering the Sens' picks, Jason Spezza's situation (what's so bad about a guy turning down a trade to a team that's on his no-trade list? Emo GM Bryan Murray will tell you) and positing a Sunday rumor column, and he addresses a situation we haven't necessarily talked about as of yet:
There has been a lot of controversy in Chicago over whether the Hawks have been trying to deal forward Patrick Sharp or not. While it was heavily denied by Sharp’s agent Rick Curran that his client was on the move, Sharp’s name has been popping up all over the place in trade talks. Several teams say he’s available, so it will be interesting to see if he’s still there when push comes to shove after this summer. The Hawks are already over the salary cap and will have to cut money somewhere.
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Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, chris+kelly, colorado+avalanche, joe+thornton, matt+niskanen, patrick+sharp, paul+stastny, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+kesler, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, vancouver+canucks
The free agent "wining and dining period" has been a bit of a pain in the rear to keep up with, but it's at least intriguing to witness player agents just cut out the middleman and tell actual reputable sources, "Oh yeah, we met with team X, team Y and team Z" instead of having to read someone's column about "league sources" (who are almost always agents or hopeful GM's).
But the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch has arrived in Philadelphia, and it wouldn't be the draft or five days till free agency if Garrioch didn't provide us with both an update on Jason Spezza's status...
It's believed as many as five teams -- including St. Louis, Anaheim, Phoenix, Nashville and Florida -- have made calls on the Ottawa captain. The club is mulling over what route to take.
With Spezza requesting a trade, the Senators would like to have a deal in place by Friday, but the club would like to get a No. 1 pick to replace the one Ottawa gave up in the deal for Bobby Ryan with Anaheim last summer.
Murray along with assistant GM's Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee were expected to sit down Wednesday to discuss the different scenarios because this is a deal that has a chance to be a game-changer.
Updated with LeBrun stuff at 6:57 PM:
TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie discussed pre-draft trade and free agent discussions in an edition of Insider Trading that lasts for nearly four minutes. TSN usually posts a summation thereof, but if you don't want to wait until 7:30 or 8...
1. McKenzie says that there are 3 teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, St. Louis +?) and 1 "mystery team" in the Eastern Conference who are talking to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza (who has a no-trade list of 10 teams, incl. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and the Islanders). McKenzie says the Senators want a 1st-round draft pick as part of the compensation package.
2. Dreger says that David Bolland wants "maximum value," and he wants an 8-year deal at $4.9 million to remain with the Leafs. Toronto probably won't give him the term he wants, but Bolland believes he'll be healthy by training camp;
3. Dreger says that the Oilers are looking for a center and a defenseman, and they're willing to trade the 3rd overall pick and/or Sam Gagner in their efforts to improve the team, which may include trading for the Panthers' 1st overall pick;
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, jason+spezza, joe+thornton, paul+stastny, ryan+kesler, sam+gagner, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks
The veteran center truly believes that his best chance at winning a Stanley Cup is with the Sharks if a few changes are made, and it would mean more to do it there with long-time teammate Patrick Marleau, who he waited to make sure signed in San Jose before signing his own extension. Thornton hasn’t submitted a list of acceptable teams to GM Doug Wilson, and hasn’t been asked to do so either. That likely won’t change anytime soon. Because of that, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Thornton would okay a deal.
In theory, the Sharks could try to force him out by stripping him of the captaincy before the season starts, but the reality is that Thornton would probably accept a back seat on the leadership front to younger players like Logan Couture or Joe Pavelski if everyone felt it was the best path to a championship in San Jose.
-Craig Custance of ESPN on Joe Thornton. vVa ESPN Insider, but you can read a few other topics without a subscription.
Paul Grant Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs to watch when it comes to the big-name free-agent centers.
Both clubs, we hear, have talked to the Vancouver Canucks about Ryan Kesler and to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza, although they are hardly alone; several clubs have checked in on both available assets.
It's not surprising that Anaheim has inquired about both, as the Ducks' desire for a high-end, No. 2 center is hardly a state secret, especially when the club tried to hard to get Kesler at the March 5 trade deadline.
What we're hearing out of both Ottawa and Vancouver is that the price is too high for each center, perhaps because we haven’t got to draft week yet in Philadelphia when things are expected to heat up.
Then again, the Canucks view Kesler as quite a bargain at a $5 million cap hit the next two seasons. Spezza has only a year left on his deal but his offensive talent is a major drawing card the Senators are banking on cashing in on a trade.
One club we’re told that is intrigued is the Detroit Red Wings, although at this point it's just that, pure intrigue and other than a very preliminary discussion, there hasn't been much work done on that front.
For starters, I don’t think Detroit can do something of that magnitude as long as Stephen Weis sand his $4.9 million cap hit remains on the books for the next four years. Good luck moving that contract.
more plus additional hockey topics...
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Here's the latest word from the Joe Thornton camp:
One thing might get the Sharks captain to reconsider his stated intent to remain in San Jose despite suggestions from management that it may be time to move on, according to his brother and agent, John Thornton.
"If he felt the fans didn't want him in San Jose, he might re-think things," John Thornton said when asked if his brother would want to play where it was apparent he was not wanted.
Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet says the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to trade for Joe Thornton.
The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger posited a pair of speculation-based columns on Friday evening, wondering aloud whether Dan Bylsma might be a "fit" for the Canucks, and he also suggested that the Toronto Maple Leafs and several other teams have inquired as to the availability of San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton:
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Leafs are among at least six NHL teams who have kicked tires concerning Thornton’s availability.
And why wouldn’t they? With centre being a position of need for the Leafs ever since Mats Sundin left, why not make an inquiry if someone of Thornton’s ilk might possibly come on the market?
Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has often said that GMs often ask each other about the chances of players being on the block. As he has pointed out in the past, it’s part of a GM’s job to do his due diligence.
That doesn’t mean that it has gotten anywhere near the point of offers being exchanged. So, those of you who already have a Thornton deal worked out in which Dion Phaneuf goes to San Jose to replace the recently traded Dan Boyle, slow down.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The latest scuttlebutt on who's going where and why as another big season of free agency approaches:
It has the potential to be quite the offseason when it comes to high-profile centers changing teams.
We always say top centers don’t grow on trees and are hard to come by, well, there are at least two on the market in Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza and it remains to be seen how it plays out on the Joe Thornton front.
First, in Vancouver, where the Canucks went fairly down the road in trade talks involving Kesler before the March 5 trade deadline, in particular with the Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins, before deciding the offers weren’t good enough and pulling him back.
The question is, what’s the deal with him now given the new management in place in Vancouver?
Sources said new Canucks GM Jim Benning has already taken calls from teams on Kesler, if for no other reason than they’re wondering if he’s still available or not....
Spezza, with a year left on his deal, indicated to Senators management that he would welcome a change if a deal that makes sense comes Ottawa’s way. I suspect talks will heat up on that front closer to the draft later this month.
And, in San Jose, the Sharks have indicated they are entering a rebuilding mode. What does that mean for Joe Thornton, who signed a three-year extension earlier this season? Does he want to be around for a rebuild? Either way, Thornton holds all the cards with a no-movement clause. Same goes for Patrick Marleau, for that matter.
more on Kesler and other topic too...
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
When he was acquired from Boston, he made a solid team a Stanley Cup contender overnight. If the 34-year-old retired tomorrow, he’s already done enough in his career to merit consideration for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it’s primarily for his accomplishments during his eight-plus seasons in teal.
The Cup never came, though. And, now it could be time for Thornton and the Sharks to amicably part company.
To be clear, Thornton is far from only player to blame for the Sharks’ historic collapse to the Kings in the first round, or for any of their previous failures in the postseason. Against Los Angeles last month, the team’s core players all failed in spectacular fashion in the final three games of the series loss, the goaltending was unsteady, and the defense missed its most vital cog in Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the final two games.
But at the conclusion of that collapse, no one in the organization argued that San Jose didn’t have the talent to match up with the Kings, and a 111-point regular season backs that up. Instead, general manager Doug Wilson and head coach Todd McLellan pointed to the coaching staff’s message inexplicably not getting through to the players....
Comcast SportsNet Sharks analyst Bret Hedican said: “It does speak to the leadership group, and is saying to me that the leadership either isn’t on board with what he’s trying to do, or strictly isn’t bought in to understanding what it’s going to take to win. … If the leadership has not bought in with the understanding of what it’s going to take to win, then it probably explains why we’re in the predicament that we’re now in, watching the Sharks get beat by the L.A. Kings for the last couple of years.”
added 1:05pm, San Jose press release below...
CSN Bay Area mic'd up Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski during a recent San Jose game...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
You want to wear a sandwich board that blares, “I Don’t Know Jack About Hockey?” Go tell an NHL player that Thornton is the reason why the Sharks have not won a Stanley Cup. “Winning is never about one guy,” says Mike Cammalleri, who puts Thornton in the same league as Pavel Datsyuk and Sidney Crosby when it comes to dictating the pace of a game. Lee Stempniak wonders aloud if there’s another guy in the NHL who is more dangerous on his backhand than his forehand or, at least, Thornton’s equal....
Hockey in general loves its labels. In Thornton’s case, it’s the big, slower-moving player who gets the “lazy” tag. Or the, “he-doesn’t-want-it-bad-enough” label. It goes back to Frank Mahovlich, runs through Tim Kerr and Dave Andreychuk, and settles on the plate next to Dustin Penner’s pancakes. “The debate that exists out there is because of his personality,” says San Jose coach Todd McLellan, who was an assistant in Detroit, where true leadership was everywhere. He compares the Thornton we never see to Steve Yzerman in Detroit, whose intensity was more palpable to those on the outside. “Every now and then the door shuts, and Jumbo is able to bring things to order.”
Then the door opens and Jumbo is smiling again, talking about the weather. Nothing to see here, folks. Just two or three playoff rounds every year for nearly a decade, like clockwork, and a point per game for 15-plus seasons.
The Canucks did win the game 4-2 over the Sharks.
Probably the shortest evening line I have done...
"We want to go after teams, we want to smother teams."
-Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. Much more on San Jose from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
Keivn Allen of USA TODAY and the president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, along with Scott Morrison, joined Sportsnet's Hockey Central Show yesterday to discuss the reporting aspect of the 'Joe Thornton quote'.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet with his views on the same subject.
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
An offhand and off-color remark by Sharks captain Joe Thornton has turned into an online firestorm.
Only one media outlet in the locker room actually used what Thornton had to say, but once the Vancouver Province put the full statement on its hockey blog, it was widely distributed through Twitter and appeared on other sites such as Deadspin.
The Sharks took issue with the decision to post what Thornton said.
"I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone in the industry that 'locker room talk' exists," Sharks director of communications Scott Emmert said in a prepared statement. "Professional reporters understand that concept and respect it."
If you missed what Thornton said, you can read it here and it may be offensive to some.
I think Toews feels Thornton embellished the call a bit.
Both received 5 for fighting, Toews received 2 for boarding and 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct, probably starting a fight with a visor on.
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
...nothing out there suggests the Sharks might be receptive to an offer for Thornton, and that really is what matters most, no?
Never say never, of course, but here’s a reality check. While Doug Wilson has a stock line of being open to whatever will improve his team, it’s not likely that the Rangers are going to offer Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Marc Staal to pry away the Sharks captain. Sure, that’s an overstatement, but you get the point.
And on top of that, there is the no-trade clause in Thornton’s contract – though maybe the chance to play at Madison Square Garden might not make that a huge obstacle. Considering Thornton’s off-hand comment last fall about the Rangers being a a soft team – for which he later apologized, of course – it would be hoot to see what kind of reception Joe would get from the upper balcony at MSG.
All of the above is intended to throw cold water on whatever buzz may be developing on that Thornton mention. Frankly, it’s not even a rumor at this point, just a well-placed “could happen.”
“We’re not on our toes, you know what I mean? We’re very reactive right now, and that’s not how we usually play. When you’re playing your best, you’re not thinking, you’re going out and enjoying it. Right now we’re just thinking a little bit too much.”
“We’ve got nine games left and fate rests in our hands. And that’s a good thing. We’ve got games against teams in front of us. We just have to play well in these last nine games, and that’s all there is to it.”
-Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. More from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
“I couldn’t believe what he was doing and I don’t think the referee could either. “I know of no other captain in the NHL who would have so little class like Thornton exhibited.”
-Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks on Joe Thornton poking his glove in his face. More and other topics from Gord Stellick of CBC.
If you don’t recall the incident, you can watch it here.
... Joe Thornton doesn’t like Swedes…
More evidence below… ha.
from Pat Leonard of the Blueshirts Blog,
John Tortorella did not appreciate Sharks captain Joe Thornton calling the Rangers soft after the Blueshirts defeated San Jose, 5-2, Monday night. Not one bit.
“Yeah it caught me off-guard when it was brought up after the game,” Tortorella said at the team’s Greenburgh practice facility Tuesday morning. “It surprised me, and I’ve never heard a player say that. Joe’s a heck of a player, but here’s a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn’t won a g—damn thing in this league. He could go down as a player, being one of the better players in our league never to win anything. So what he should do is just shut up. It was uncalled for, it was classless, and I’ve never had it happen like that before.”
via Darren Dreger tweet,
Thornton says “soft” was not the right word to describe Rangers. He was frustrated says it was a game SJ should have won with NYR struggling
added 8:36pm, video of Torts from yesterday after the game and today after practice can be watched below…
via Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
“They were probably the softest team we played on the trip. We should have had these two points.”
-Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks after losing to the New York Rangers 5-2 tonight.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella after hearing the words from Thornton?
from Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News,
Whether he’s in screaming pain for 25 shifts or numbed from head to skate toe, Joe Thornton will be heard from in Game 5 Tuesday, somehow and someway.
He is hurt, but Thornton will play in Vancouver with the Sharks down 3-1 and facing elimination, because he says he’ll play.
“When Joe Thornton comes to you and tells you he’s playing,” coach Todd McLellan said Monday, “he’s playing.”
And there’s more to it than that.
Though Thornton gave added credibility to his tenure as Sharks captain in several recent playoff performances, this new moment is loaded with even greater potential symbolism.
The Sharks’ season might be flickering out, but Thornton’s reign as the team’s unquestioned leader could be taking off from here.
Joe Thornton was gone for the latter part of the game and no updates on his condition were available to the press in the post-game press conferences.
Others may disagree, but I think it was a clean hit. Still, Thornton’s had a great playoffs and it would be unfortunate if this turned out to be serious at all. We’ll cross our fingers that he’s alright.
Update 6:58pm ET: From Working the Corners—
The Sharks did not make Joe Thornton available to the media after that 4-2 loss and Todd McLellan said he had nothing to report yet when he was asked about his captain’s status during the post-game press conference.
But a text message to Thornton several hours later did get this response when he was asked the chances he’d be ready to play in Game 5 on Tuesday night.
“100 percent,” he wrote to my Mercury News colleague Mark Emmons. “It’s playoffs, got to play through everything.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Had Thornton played here the way he played Thursday night in San Jose, it’s all but a guarantee that we wouldn’t be talking about a Stanley Cup drought that now approaches 40 years. Thornton played with fire, with awareness, with grit. He used his strength, size, speed, and smarts and made himself a presence on every one of his 33 shifts. He exuded confidence, toughness, and leadership.
If you’re old enough to remember, Thornton’s play Thursday night was reminiscent of the days here in the ’60s and ’70s when Bobby Orr took to the ice. What, duck out for a shift to grab something in the kitchen? Are you nuts? Miss a shift of that? Good luck to you and the Oakland Seals. Everything about Thornton’s play spoke to awareness and anticipation and game sense, to owning the sheet.
Just one example that doesn’t show up in the game summary: Thornton sprinting back to catch up to a two-on-one break and disrupt the Red Wings’ scoring chance some 10 feet in front of the net. Obviously, not a situation Orr often found himself in, but Thornton’s action was reminiscent of No. 4 in that it displayed such high-end speed and game intelligence and, most important, determination. With each ferocious stride, you could almost hear the big, bearded lug snorting, “Not . . . gonna . . . happen!’’
more plus numerous hockey topics discusssed…
From Dave Lozo at NHL.com, some thoughts from Joe Thornton:
Q: Are you feeling more relieved or excited about the Game 7 victory?
A: Satisfied. It’s satisfaction, yeah. We thought we’d win this game at home. We felt pretty good.
Q: Can you tell us the emotions you’ve gone through during this series?
A: Couple highs, couple lows. But really, this team all year—a lot of people here right now haven’t followed us—we’re pretty even-keeled all year. I think it just showed now. We went up 3-0 and didn’t panic (losing the last three games). We just came out and played. That’s what we did tonight.
Q: How nice was it to see Patrick Marleau get the game-winning goal?
On to the Western Conference Semifinals for the Sharks.
Here is the goal as described b the TSN crew…
His 306th career goal added to his 694 assists give him 1000 regular season points.
St. Louis’ David Perron has missed 13 games since a Joe Thornton hit on him, giving him a concussion. It was a good hockey hit, the type players grow up learning. Still, Thornton had to be suspended. You can’t take that hit out of the game, but the league has to try; concussion prevention simply hasn’t kept up with the strength of players.
-Jake Leonard of the San Francisco Chronicle
If you need a refresher, watch the hit below….
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Players and one San Jose broadcaster had suggested that Perron embellished the hit by lying flat on the ice for a while in order to make sure Thornton got the maximum in-game penalty. The fact that Perron was back on the ice less than five minutes later and ended up scoring a goal certainly bolstered the idea.
So were players ready to back down now that the St. Louis forward has been held out of two games?
“Like I said, from what we saw on the bench, it didn’t look that bad,” said Dan Boyle, one of the players I talked with that night. “We felt he embellished. . . . The fact that he’s missed a couple of games certainly makes it a more legit injury. But it didn’t look right from the bench and then he came back right away.”
Both Boyle and Dany Heatley noted that it was unfortunate that Perron has missed a couple of games and “nobody wants that at all.”
But Heatley stuck to his original statement as far as Perron “did stay on the ice to get that five-minute call.”
Did Joe Thornton actually think his suspension would be overturned by Bettman?
Joe’s brother John, who was part of the appeal process, had this to say.
I guess being 5’9” was Joe’s only solution to avoid this suspension. We are extremely disappointed with the league’s decision and feel the continuing uncertainty with league actions will only hurt the fans of the NHL
The quote is via Pierre LeBrun’s twitter where you can read more on this topic.
from Jamie Baker of the Broadcasters Blog at Sharks.com,
What message is the NHL sending?
· Playing with your head down is okay?
· Being bigger is not okay – especially when your shoulder is at the same level as someone else’s chin?
· Faking an injury after an apparent head contact hit is okay?
It is a trend that I am starting to see; players diving or faking injuries to draw penalties. I have one quick solution to fix that – take the instigator penalty out of the game because it is protecting the divers.
Let’s look at the problem in another way. What about Douglas Murray - how many times does he get boarded but there are not calls because he is 240 pounds and doesn’t fall down.
more and a piece on Wendel Clark too…
“We strongly disagree with the two-game suspension handed down by the NHL today to Joe Thornton. What is most distressing is that we feel the suspension is not consistent to the recent reviews by the League following similar collisions resulting in players leaving the penalty box and establishing their place on the ice, including Willie Mitchell on Jonathan Toews.
“In Joe’s case, it was clearly not a predatory-type hit with an intent to injure, shown by the fact that the player returned to the ice for his next shift so it is clear that the contact to the head was minimal. We put a lot of time and effort into helping define the NHL’s new rule on headshots but we feel strongly that this suspension is not a reflection of the rule’s true intent.”
-San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson on the Joe Thornton suspension.
“I didn’t actually see the hit until this morning. I didn’t intend to hurt or do anything bad to him. He kind of ran into me, to be honest with you. Last night and this morning I had about three dozen text messages from players around the league saying they can’t believe I even got a penalty.”
-Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. More from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
Sharks captain Joe Thornton has been suspended two games for his hit on St. Louis Blues forward David Perron on Thursday night.
Colin Campbell was travelling on Friday, so Mike Murphy conducted the formal portion of the conference call hearing, and Murphy and Campbell determined that supplemental discipline was required.
Thornton’s agent and brother John Thornton intends on talking to the NHLPA about possibly appealing since Campbell did not conduct the hearing, but it’s unlikely the decision will be overturned.
If you missed the hit, you can watch it here.
TORONTO (November 5, 2010) – San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton has been suspended for two games and will forfeit $77,419.36 in salary as a result of delivering an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward David Perron in NHL game #176, last night, the National Hockey League announced today.
The incident occurred at 5:26 of the second period and Thornton was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct under Rule 48 for Illegal Check to the Head.
Thornton will miss games against Tampa Bay (Nov. 6) and Anaheim (Nov. 9). He is eligible to return Nov. 11 against the New York Islanders.
Thornton’s fine is based on his average annual salary and is calculated under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Thornton received five for an illegal check to the head, a ten and game misconduct.
Perron is ok.
Watch the hit starting at the 1:05 mark.
Time again to a tip a few back, honoring the best of the best from last night’s NHL action:
***Cheers to Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, whose highlight reel third period goal broke a 3-3 tie in Tampa and led the Lightning to a win over Pittsburgh by a final of 5-3. St. Louis also added an empty netter late to seal things and I’m fast becoming more and more convinced that the heart of the Bolts just keeps getting better all the time.
Each week hockey columnist Scott Morrison and senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby exchange (mostly) friendly banter on the latest storylines in the NHL.
1. Who would you rather have on your team, Brad Richards or Joe Thornton? Thornton just signed a three-year, $21-million extension with the San Jose Sharks to scratch his name from the potential unrestricted 2011 free-agent list. Richards, in the last year in his deal with the Dallas Stars, remains a candidate for free agency next summer.
WHARNSBY: I’ll take Brad Richards. Jumbo Joe is grand fellow. He has that relaxed surfer-dude persona. He’s extremely friendly. But I’m concerned about his lack of success in the NHL playoffs.
more at CBC…
Today’s salute to the performances of yesternight, honoring those who shined in leading their clubs to victory:
***Cheers to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who is showing marked improvement early this season and who was named first star in Tampa’s 5-4 win over the visiting Dallas Stars last night. Hedman managed a pair of assists and led all skaters in ice time, sparking an offensive rush on several occasions and, most importantly, playing adept defense in his own end. It is early, as we must continue to note for all who have had fast starts, but Hedman’s growth in year two will play a major factor in the Lightning’s fortunes. So far, with few hiccups, they must be pleased. (Note: They are. Coach Guy Boucher singled Hedman out with post-game praise after the Dallas game.)
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cam+ward, dwayne+roloson, joe+thornton, john+tavares, justin+peters, marian+hossa, michael+neuvirth, patrick+sharp, phil+kessel, semyon+varlamov, victor+hedman
from Jamie Baker at Sharks.com,
Joe Thornton could have waited to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and used that leverage to increase the salary he will make for the next three or more years. But that’s not what Joe wanted.
Joe taking more money can handcuff an organization and limit its ability to sign other players, typically depth players. You see folks, Joe is greedy. He wants to win! To win means signing for a bit less so the whole is greater than the parts.
Ask anyone who really knows Joe Thornton and they’ll say Joe is generous to a fault. I think Joe is smart and knows that his generosity will pay off with more wins and a better shot at winning the Stanley Cup.
In a tough economy, Joe respects the working class people that come to watch him play. He didn’t need to disrespect them by jumping ship and going to a different team to make an extra million or two a year.
This was Joe’s deal with his agent and brother John overseeing the legalities of it. John let his client do what was right for him, the organization and ultimately hockey. Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent were not looking out for hockey with their ridiculous contract demands this past summer. With negotiations looming between the Players Union and the NHL, Joe’s signing is a breath of fresh air for the game of hockey.
Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson has locked up team captain Joe Thornton with a three-year, $21 million contract extension that will keep the 2006 Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner in the Bay Area through the 2013-14 season.
“Joe stepped up and made a tremendous commitment to this franchise, his teammates and the fans in San Jose,” Wilson said. “We are very pleased that we now have another key piece of this team’s core under contract for the next four seasons.”
added 1:33pm, via Pierre LeBrun tweet,
The San Jose Sharks have signed captain Joe Thornton to a $21-million, three-year contract extension
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Now it’s official: Joe Thornton will wear the ‘C’ on his jersey this season.
Beyond that, Todd McLellan announced that Dan Boyle will have a “permanent ‘A’ and Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe would rotate as the second assistant — Marleau at home games, Clowe on the road.
Joe Thornton discusses playoff hockey from last season plus the upcoming season.
from Nabil Karim of CBC,
So San Jose’s management team has some big time questions to answer.
Does the organization believe Thornton has exorcised his playoff demons? In the twilight of his career, can he deliver consistently for multiple seasons? And what is the right price to pay for number 19?
It will all make for some interesting storylines to follow in California this season.
Will San Jose sign Thornton early on to squash the distraction? Or do they gamble and play out the year to see how Thornton and the Sharks fair this season?
Will Sharks’ general manager Doug Wilson trade Thornton at the deadline to get valuable assets in return, or lose him for nothing in the off-season?
It’s a tough decision to make with any player. It’s even more difficult with a player of Thornton’s calibre and worth.
from Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,
Joe Thornton has fallen hard for the San Jose lifestyle. And that’s funny considering he didn’t even think it was possible for him to be here in the first place….
Thornton, 31, has had preliminary talks about extending his contract with the Sharks—which ends after this season—and makes it abundantly clear that he wants to stay with the organization.
When it comes to the South Bay, Thornton sounds like a man ready to sign a lifetime contract. He and wife Tabea are building a new home in the Los Gatos-Saratoga area. He has a farmhouse in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he grew up, and the couple has an apartment in Tabea’s native Switzerland.
But, he added, “This is where the Thornton family has put down roots.”
via Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
Sharks GM Doug Wilson has done well to keep his core together this summer, re-signing Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski through the 2013-14 season, and would ultimately like to add Thornton to that list.
“The onus is on us to make this a place guys want to play and stay at,” Wilson said. “The group of players that we have, that have complemented us as an organization, that’s something we hope to continue.”
Thornton, who had 89 points in the regular season, added 12 points in 15 playoff games as the Sharks advanced to the Western Conference finals.
While Wilson won’t publicly comment on negotiations with Thornton, he made one thing clear: He won’t be doing any Kovalchuk-like deal with his franchise center, even if an extended long-term deal would help drive down the salary cap hit.
“We don’t have any contracts longer than four years,” Wilson said. “We are a player payroll team. We operate the way we operate. Under the CBA, people have options and choices. We have our own structure.”
Craig also points out the Bruins have had preliminary talks with Zdeno Chara.
from Kyle Rea of the Times-Journal,
He is arguably the biggest celebrity to hail from St. Thomas.
And, now, Joe Thornton has a permanent banner at the Timken Centre, marking two decades of hockey accomplishments in St. Thomas and beyond. Unveiled on Friday, the four-by-20 foot banner will hang in the upper level of the Timken Centre’s main rink.
While Joe Thornton was unable to attend, his parents, Wayne and Mary Thornton, were on hand for the official unveiling.
“We would just like to thank all of St. Thomas for supporting Joe throughout the years. They’ve been fantastic,” said Wayne Thornton. “All of his friends are here, everybody has been behind Joe to support him, sometimes financially, sometimes with moral support. The whole Thornton family really appreciates what St. Thomas has done.”
from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,
Despite the late-game slash and garbage time melee, McLellan was happy with Thornton’s overall game.
“If I look at Joe’s game, I thought Joe played a pretty solid game,” he said. “He was skating. He was big. He was strong.”
Thornton sat down at his locker for a quick interview session with the media following the game:
Q: What went wrong tonight?
Thornton: I didn’t think we gave them too much, to be honest with you. I thought we played good defensive hockey. I don’t know how many chances they got. We were just not capitalizing on our chances. They are with theirs. We aren’t with ours.
Thornton has to be better than -4 for the WCF.