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Biggest Trade In Franchise History

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
Big Trades in Sharks History

October 26, 1995 – Owen Nolan is acquired from Colorado in exchange for Sandis Ozolinsh

January 25, 1997 – Ed Belfour is acquired from Chicago in exchange for Ulf Dahlen, Michael Sykora and Chris Terreri

March 5, 2001 – Teemu Selanne is acquired from Anaheim in exchange for Jeff Friesen, Steve Shields and a 2nd round selection in the 2003 Entry Draft

November 30, 2005 – Joe Thornton is acquired from Boston in exchange for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau.

The Deal
On November 30 the San Jose Sharks made the biggest trade in the history of the franchise by acquiring Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins. The old adage you have to give up something to get something has never been so true. By trading Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau, the Sharks lose three excellent hockey players and more importantly three popular players in the dressing room.

This has to be the biggest trade in Sharks history for the following reasons:
• Owen Nolan was one of the top power forwards in the NHL and quickly became the cornerstone player for the Sharks; however he was not the franchise player in Colorado where Sakic, Forsberg, Foote and Roy played.
• Teemu Selanne is a pure goal scorer and a superstar in the NHL; however he is a one-dimensional player who does not bring a lot of value if he is not scoring.
• Ed Belfour is about to move into 2nd place for all-time career victories as a goalie. A tremendous achievement for the future hall-of-famer, but he was months from being an unrestricted free agent and the trade was based on the Sharks re-signing Belfour which we know did not happen as he bolted for Dallas.

Joe Thornton was the franchise player and the face of the Boston Bruins. He is 6’4”, 223 pounds and only 26 years old as he heads into the prime of his career. Thornton can score, is a great playmaker, a very strong skater, can play physical and is the type of player that can endure the exhausting grind of the NHL playoffs that is needed to win four rounds, 16 games over two months for the coveted Stanly Cup.

San Jose now has arguably the best center corps in the NHL. With Marleau, Thornton, McCauley, and Goc, the Sharks have the type of strength down the middle that keeps other team’s defenseman tossing and turning in bed the night before games. San Jose has never been so deep at center in the history of this franchise.

Who wins? Who Loses?
Only time can tell who wins trades. When Eric Lindros was traded from Quebec to Philadelphia (with ex Shark Mike Ricci going to Quebec in that deal) some experts predicted the key to the deal might be Peter Forsberg who was still playing in Sweden. The Flyers went to the Stanley Cup finals with Lindros, but lost to Detroit. In the following years Quebec, now the Colorado Avalanche, won two Stanley Cups and Peter Forsberg was, and is, one of the top hockey players in the world. Looking back at that trade there is no question Quebec got the better of that deal.

So, who is the winner and loser in the blockbuster trade between San Jose and Boston? If you look at that Colorado team, they were obviously very deep in goal and defense, but they also had two of the top centers in the world in Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg. I am not sure they win those Stanley Cups if you take Sakic or Forsberg out of the lineup. San Jose gave up some very good players and great people to acquire a superstar. Only time will tell, but my immediate reaction is this is a GOOD trade for the Boston Bruins and a GREAT trade for the San Jose Sharks.

I was in training camp when Marco and Brad attended their first camp for the Sharks. They were young with lots of potential and you knew they were going to have a major impact with the Sharks for years to come. As they head to Boston, it is a new opportunity to have a major impact for the Bruins for years to come. I would like to wish Marco, Brad and Wayne the best of luck. They will be missed by the Sharks organization and the loyal San Jose Sharks fans.

And now let the Joe Thornton era begin.

I am Jamie Baker for Seagate Technology's “In The Crease”

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