Entries with the tag: joe thornton
As an addendum to news about the Dany Heatley for Milan Michalek/Jonathan Cheechoo trade, here are the lines that Todd McLellan was originally using as Sharks training camp was opening:
Setoguchi/Mitchell (sitting out because of tendonitis)/McGinn
With Heatley in the mix, I’m guessing that McLellan will still want Marleau to stabilize/push Pavelski and Clowe into consistency while the top line becomes Heatley/Thornton/Setoguchi. The power play will likely be Heatley/Thornton/Marleau, with the option of throwing Marleau on the point (he’s done that from time to time) and Setoguchi up front.
I’m personally not a fan of what Heatley pulled this summer or his contract, but he had chemistry with Thornton in previous international stints.
Much of the Boston media’s talk today surrounds the pretty obvious topic of Joe Thornton and whether or not his departure was good. I think we can all agree that for the actual transaction, then-GM Mike O’Connell got pretty fleeced. For a #1 center, a 100-point player and a franchise guy, he got a 2nd-line wing (Marco Sturm), a #4 defenseman with a history of injuries (Brad Stuart), and a checking center (Wayne Primeau).
Ok, but let’s look beyond that. Some people seem to think that if Thornton was still in Boston, the Bruins wouldn’t have the cap space to put together their current squad. In other words, the argument seems to be that it was trading Joe Thornton’s cap space value for free agents Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Michael Ryder, and the ability to resign their own players.
That’s simply not true. Savard’s cap hit is $2.2 million less than Thornton’s. Sturm’s cap hit (currently on long-term injury) was a long-term resigning at $3.5 million. I’m guessing in an alternate world, you could swap Thornton for Savard, remove Sturm from the lineup and mix-and-match players, then argue whether or not the roster was better (they wouldn’t have Andrew Ferrence or Chuck Kobasew, the players involved in the Brad Stuart deal). However, Thornton’s salary wouldn’t necessarily cripple the team’s maneuverability, so that argument goes out the window when looking at the deal.
(Quick aside: Now whether or not Thornton would have evolved into the Hart Trophy winner he is today while remaining in Boston, we’ll never know. And for those that point to Thornton’s supposed ineptitude in the playoffs, look at these numbers. With the Sharks, Thornton has 30 points in 33 games.)
Instead, I think it’s better to put things in the context of former-GM Mike O’Connell and current GM Peter Chiarelli. Because ultimately, the reach of the Thornton deal doesn’t really directly impact the team that much anymore—Sturm’s out with injury, the other guys are gone, and no major draft picks were acquired from the deal.
The ever-vigilant Dave Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News has posted that the Sharks will open training camp with Patrick Marleau on Joe Thornton’s wing. The duo will be flanked by Ryane Clowe, not Jonathan Cheechoo:
Here’s how the top forward lines will look on Day One:
Patrick Marleau-Joe Thornton-Ryan Clowe
Milan Michalek-Joe Pavelski-Jonathan Cheechoo
Marcel Goc-Torrey Mitchell-Mike Grier
Tomas Plihal-Jeremy Roenick-Devin Setoguchi
I’m personally not a fan of putting Marleau and Thornton on the same line together except for the power play.