Boston Bruins: Ten Year Anniversary Of Joe Thornton Trade


Boston Bruins: Ten Year Anniversary Of Joe Thornton Trade To San Jose

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

It has been exactly one decade since “Jumbo” Joe Thornton was traded to the San Jose Sharks. Although there was animosity between Joe Thornton and the Bruins management at the time, the trade shocked the entire hockey world. While franchise cornerstones are moved more frequently in today’s NHL, Moving a team’s leading scorer and franchise player was almost unthinkable at the time.

Live Feed

2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup
2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup /

Puck Prose

  • Former NY Islanders earn spots on 'Historic 100' list of Boston Bruins players Eyes On Isles
  • The Boston Bruins announced an incredible All-Centennial teamPuck Prose
  • Former NY Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara finds a new way to push himselfEyes On Isles
  • The Boston Bruins are bringing back another old friendPuck Prose
  • The new faces on the Bruins heading into the 2023-24 seasonPuck Prose
  • With both the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks looking to shake up their respective rosters at the time, the Joe Thornton trade fell into place. Following the lock-out season in 2004-05, Joe Thornton was a restricted free agent. At the time, and not unlike recent years, Joe Thornton was being scrutinized for both his leadership, and performance in the playoffs. Joe Thornton also had his complaints about the direction of the Bruins franchise, but re-signed with them on August 11th of 2005. Just 23 games into the season, despite having posted 33 points, Joe Thornton was traded to the San Jose Sharks. The return for Thornton included forwards Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau, and defenseman Brad Stuart.  Joe Thornton went on to win the Hart trophy that season, making him the first and player in the history of the NHL to earn that honor while playing for two different teams in the same season. Thornton was also the Art Ross Trophy winner that season having posted 125 points in 81 games, and he never looked back after that.

    More from Bruins News

    Over his parts of eleven seasons as a member of the San Jose Sharks, Joe Thornton has scored 192 goals and added 628 assists for an outstanding 820 points in 776 games. Thornton has consistently been one of the best players in the league throughout his career, especially after joining the San Jose Sharks. The Bruins however, didn’t end up with the return they might have been anticipating.

    Marco Sturm was the most productive piece coming in the trade, playing for five seasons in Boston. Sturm ended up scoring at least 20 goals in four of his five seasons as a member of the Bruins, while only scoring seven in the 2008-09 season as a result of playing in only 19 games. Brad Stuart and Mark Primeau ended up being traded to the Calgary Flames for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew, which did contribute to the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup win with Andrew Ference skating on the Bruins second defensive pairing with now-New York Islander’s defender Johnny Boychuk.

    The Bruins can take solace in the fact that, although Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks went on to play in nine consecutive playoffs compared to the Bruins seven, the Sharks never made it to the Stanley Cup finals, whereas the Bruins won the cup in 2011 and made it back to the finals in 2013. Joe Thornton has never quite shaken the criticism that he received in Boston regarding his playoff performances as well as his leadership abilities in San Jose, and the Bruins have been fortunate with center’s following the trade also. With centers like Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci taking the reigns for the Bruins in their top-six over the last few seasons, the Bruins probably aren’t thinking about Joe Thornton too often these days.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

    More from Causeway Crowd