Sharks Should Dangle Thornton, Marleau at Deadline

Joe Thornton has been the face of the San Jose Sharks for a decade — literally 10 seasons — but with the team struggling and at risk of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2003 — before Thornton’s tenure began — it may be time to move on. Ditto for Patrick Marleau, who predates Thornton and has spent his entire 17-year career with the Sharks, but all good things must come to an end. Both players could use a change of scenery and the Sharks could use a shakeup to signal a changing of the guard in San Jose. |


Fish or cut bait. The San Jose Sharks have a difficult decision to make with the clock ticking down towards Monday’s trade deadline.

General manager Doug Wilson and more so embattled head coach Todd McLellan are on thin ice in Northern California, their jobs at risk if the Sharks miss the playoffs on the heels of several post-season disappointments. This franchise has been underachieving for years, and the fan base is warming up to the idea of a rebuild.

San Jose Sharks square logoBlow it up! They say. Well, some of them say. Others would like to see Wilson be a buyer at the deadline, sneak into the playoffs as a lower seed and perhaps go on a run like the Los Angeles Kings did in capturing the Stanley Cup last spring. The Sharks came the closest to ousting the Kings, building up a 3-0 series lead in the first round before suffering an epic collapse. San Jose’s core remains much the same, so it’s not unfathomable for the shoe to be on the other foot this spring.

Now, if the Sharks were to “blow it up” or become sellers, the next 48 hours could really reshape the franchise’s future. Especially if Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau finally waived their no-trade clauses for playoff runs — or fresh starts — with other teams.

Wouldn’t that be something? Thornton and Marleau dealt in the same day. Crazy as it sounds, anything could happen. The Flyers pulled off the double by shipping out Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in separate trades just hours apart back in 2011. Richards was Philadelphia’s captain and Carter its leading goal-scorer at the time. Granted, those deals were done following the playoffs and just prior to the NHL draft when teams have more flexibility with the salary cap and are more eager to shake things up. But San Jose is going to need to rock the boat sooner or later, and in the case of Thornton and Marleau, sooner would be better — providing they are willing to jump overboard.

For reference sake, Richards was traded to Los Angeles for forwards Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and a 2012 second-round pick (Devin Shore). Carter went to Columbus for forward Jake Voracek, plus first- and third-round picks in 2011 (Sean Couturier and Nick Cousins). Richards and Carter were obviously younger, just entering their prime, but the Sharks should be well compensated for Thornton and Marleau if those packages are any indication.

Doug Wilson
Doug Wilson

Wilson should definitely be dangling the veteran forwards and feeling them out on potential moves. They didn’t want to leave in the summer, but presently on the outside looking into the playoff picture — and not getting any younger — they might have a change of heart. Neither of them have hoisted a Stanley Cup, which is every hockey player’s dream from their diaper days, so that elusive goal may be just a trade away. Even if they were traded to a non-contender, the change of scenery could be welcomed.

There most certainly would be a market for both. They are still impact players despite getting a little long in the tooth, with both turning 36 before the start of next season. Their best years are behind them, but you can bet they would have the drive and determination to go on another deep playoff run as 35 year olds. And they would have full control over where they go, which could limit Wilson’s options but any option is better than none.

Wilson should do his part by entertaining offers because Thornton and Marleau could net the Sharks an impressive return based on the established trade market. If Andrej Sekera can land Carolina a first-round pick and a top defence prospect in Roland McKeown, a second-rounder from 2014, then you can imagine the kind of packages Thornton or Marleau could command. Remember, these guys were the first and second overall picks from the 1997 draft and have both produced more than 1,000 career points.

Thornton is a pass-first playmaker with elite vision. He hasn’t lost that and probably never will. His skating has always been a step behind, but he makes up for it with his mind. Marleau is just a great all-around player, much faster than Thornton and a better finisher around the net. Two very different players, but two highly coveted skill-sets.

Trading Thornton

Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton

Thornton probably has more value on the open market, or more teams would be interested because of his size and position as a centre. Detroit might be interested if Johan Franzen is looking like a no-go for the start of playoffs. A return to Boston would be quite the way to bookend his career and the Bruins have a hole in their lineup with David Krejci injured. The Rangers would be in the running, given Thornton’s chemistry with Rick Nash from international events. Washington needs a second-line centre, but Thornton is quite similar to Nicklas Backstrom in what he brings to the table, albeit an older version. If he’s going to the East, don’t rule out the Philadelphia Flyers or New York Islanders as they always express interest in the big fish, while the Florida Panthers might be dark-horses too after acquiring 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr. Who knows, Toronto could consider bringing its prodigal son home after shedding David Clarkson’s contract.

Trading Marleau

Patrick Marleau
Patrick Marleau

Marleau might be the better fit for Washington, and he’s capable of playing centre despite converting to wing in recent years. Those wild-card teams — Flyers, Islanders and Panthers — would probably kick tires on both. Of the two, Marleau would be more likely to stay in the Western Conference, with Nashville and Minnesota as frontrunners, plus Vancouver potentially in the mix too.

Let’s Make A Deal

Now for the fun part, assuming both are willing to waive and Wilson is willing to throw in the towel on this season. I’m proposing Thornton to Detroit, Boston, the Rangers and Toronto — all Original Six teams and bigger markets. Marleau is off to Washington, Nashville, Minnesota and Vancouver. For the heck of it, the Flyers, Islanders and Panthers get to make pitches for both. Do the math and that’s 14 different deals, so let’s get to it.

Proposal 1

To Detroit: Joe Thornton

To San Jose: Anthony Mantha and Ryan Sproul

Anthony Mantha
Anthony Mantha

Analysis: When dealing with Detroit, it’s almost better to target prospects than draft picks just because the Red Wings have such a strong track record of making superior selections. Mantha was a first-rounder, 20th overall, in 2013 but he’d go even higher in a redraft as a budding power forward. Sproul was a second-rounder in 2011, but has top-end potential as an offensive blue-liner. It’s only a 2-for-1, but the Sharks would be getting two great pieces for their future. The Red Wings would be getting a premier set-up man at the tail end of his prime, who would work great with youngsters Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist on the second line.

Proposal 2

To Boston: Joe Thornton

To San Jose: Malcolm Subban, Alex Khokhlachev and a 2015 first-round pick

Malcolm Subban
Malcolm Subban

Analysis: The Sharks are going to need a new No. 1 goalie next year with Antti Niemi on the way out, and Subban is one of the league’s best prospects between the pipes. Khokhlachev is a scoring winger that could gel with fellow Russian prospects Nikolay Goldobin and Daniil Tarasov. That draft pick could be as high as 15th, but that’s unlikely considering what Thornton would bring to the Bruins. Once David Krejci gets healthy, that would be some incredible centre depth with Patrice Bergeron there too. But this one is obviously a long-shot and Boston might prefer a short-term solution like Antoine Vermette.

Proposal 3

To N.Y. Rangers: Joe Thornton

To San Jose: Kevin Hayes, Anthony Duclair and a 2016 first-round pick

Kevin Hayes
Kevin Hayes

Analysis: This one might make the most sense for both teams. The Rangers have long been interested in reuniting Thornton and Nash in the NHL, and Nash is already one of the hottest scorers in the league this season without a world-class talent feeding him the puck. They would be dynamite together. Hayes is hitting his stride at the NHL level lately and would replace Thornton’s stature — size-wise — in San Jose’s lineup. Duclair is a sniper on the wing, with the potential to be similar to Joe Pavelski in a few years. The 2016 draft isn’t supposed to be as strong as 2015, but adding an extra first-rounder never hurts.

Proposal 4

To Toronto: Joe Thornton

To San Jose: Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak

Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel

Analysis: The Leafs are clearly exploring all of their options and these two could be available as a package deal. They are best buddies off the ice and have good chemistry on it. It would give the Sharks a bit more depth up front, and they get younger in the process with Kessel (27) and Bozak (28) both under 30. The Leafs have been longing for a true No. 1 centre and Thornton will fill that void as a big upgrade on Bozak. He’s from London, Ontario, and might be willing to waive for that homecoming despite the Leafs committing to a rebuild. It’d be a clean slate for Thornton and he’d be counted on to lead the Leafs back into contention.

Proposal 4(B)

To Toronto: Joe Thornton
To San Jose: Nazem Kadri and Dion Phaneuf

Nazem Kadri
Nazem Kadri

Analysis: On second thought, Kessel might be a bit redundant in San Jose, with Pavelski a similar player. The Sharks might prefer a young centre to play behind Logan Couture while also upgrading their top-four D, taking some pressure off Brent Burns. Phaneuf would likely welcome a move to California as his wife is an actress and would be closer to her work, and he’d be out of the spotlight again. Thornton would turn Kessel into a perennial Rocket Richard Trophy candidate, and Bozak could fill Kadri’s hole on the second line. This probably makes more sense for both teams. For what it’s worth, Leafs fans seem dead-set against acquiring Thornton, mainly because of his age and the direction they want to see the team go (rebuild). But Thornton is still an elite player, still capable of making anybody and everybody around him better. He’s the reason Joe Pavelski is on pace for consecutive 40-goal seasons. He’s the reason we know the name Jonathan Cheechoo, and to a lesser extent, Devin Setoguchi. Sharks fans will tell you he’s still their best player and that San Jose’s offence, by and large, still runs through him. If you can keep Kessel and add Thornton, as would be the case in this proposal, you don’t think twice. Thornton between Kessel and James Van Riemsdyk, now that’s downright scary and one of the league’s very best lines.

Proposal 5

To Washington: Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Madison Bowey, Riley Barber and a 2015 second-round pick

Madison Bowey
Madison Bowey

Analysis: The Capitals are reportedly in trade talks with Chicago for Patrick Sharp, a 33-year-old winger who boasts many of the same qualities as Marleau. Washington could use Marleau as a centre and secondary scoring option behind Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Youngsters Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky aren’t quite ready for the playoff grind, but the Capitals wouldn’t want to part with either of them or 2014 first-rounder Jakub Vrana for Marleau. That’s fine by the Sharks, who gladly except Bowey, a 2013 second-rounder with big offensive upside as a defenceman, plus Barber, who was a sixth-rounder back in 2012 as an undersized winger but has developed into a point producer in the NCAA ranks. As mentioned, the 2015 draft is a stacked one, so the Sharks should add another nice prospect with that second-rounder.

Proposal 6

To Nashville: Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Colton Sissons, Jonathan Ismael-Diaby and a 2016 first-round pick

Colton Sissons
Colton Sissons

Analysis: It’s no secret by now that Nashville is all-in on this season, hoping to hoist the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. The Predators could still use another top-six proven scorer and Marleau fits the bill. Sissons and Ismael-Diaby have uncertain futures in Music City with the current depth chart, but they would have plenty of opportunity to establish themselves in San Jose. With the pick, like I said before, a first-rounder is a first-rounder even if 2016 isn’t overloaded with high-end talent.

Proposal 7

To Minnesota: Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Alex Tuch, Gustav Olofsson and a 2015 second-round pick

Alex Tuch
Alex Tuch

Analysis: The Sharks would liken Tuch to a young poor-man’s Marleau and he made a positive impression on scouts at the world juniors as Jack Eichel’s wingman despite the American team’s struggles. Olofsson, a second-rounder in 2013, is pretty underrated as a big Swedish defenceman who has been playing in North America the past few seasons. He could be somewhat similar to Mirco Mueller, who the Sharks are really high on. Some would say a 2015 second-rounder is comparable to a 2016 first-rounder, so this would be a solid return. The Wild are reportedly seeking another top-six forward and preferably somebody who can play a “heavy” game to go up against the beasts of the Western Conference. Marleau is well versed in those wars and could make an immediate impact in Minnesota.

Proposal 8

To Vancouver: Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Jacob Markstrom, Hunter Shinkaruk and a 2015 second-round pick

Jacob Markstrom
Jacob Markstrom

Analysis: The Canucks want to make the playoffs. They never wanted to rebuild in the first place and the window is closing for the Sedin twins to win a Cup. As long as Ryan Miller’s expected to make a full recovery in time for the post-season, Vancouver can afford to part with Markstrom. But if there are question marks about Miller’s health, then San Jose could include Niemi but demand that Shinkaruk be upgraded to Jake Virtanen. The Canucks didn’t want to part with Virtanen, or Bo Horvat, for Evander Kane, so it’s unlikely they would let Virtanen go for Marleau. As is, the Sharks would be getting their goalie of the future in Markstrom and a speedy scorer in Shinkaruk, both former first-rounders, plus a second-rounder in this June’s stacked draft. That is three nice pieces for the Sharks, while Vancouver bolsters its lineup with a proven secondary scoring threat. It would be a bit strange to see Marleau stay in the Pacific Division, but Jim Benning would probably be among the bidders if Marleau was put on the trade block.

Proposals 9-10

To Philadelphia: Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Brayden Schenn, Luke Schenn and a 2016 draft pick (2nd for Thornton/4th for Marleau)

Brayden Schenn
Brayden Schenn

Analysis: The Flyers have supposedly been shopping the Schenns for much of the season and San Jose would seem like a good fit for both. Brayden is still only 23 years old and has good upside as a scoring forward, while 25-year-old Luke is a physical defenceman that could work with Brenden Dillon, 24, as a shutdown pairing. Philadelphia failed in its bid to revive Vincent Lecavalier, but that shouldn’t stop the Flyers from pursuing Thornton or Marleau, both of whom should improve Philly’s fading playoff chances.

Proposals 11-12

To N.Y. Islanders: Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Michael Dal Colle, Scott Mayfield and a draft pick (2015 3rd for Thornton/2016 4th for Marleau)

Michael Dal Colle
Michael Dal Colle

Analysis: The Islanders have drafted well in recent years and stocked their prospect pool to the point that they could afford to part with Dal Colle, the fifth overall pick in 2014, and Mayfield, a 6-foot-5 defenceman and second-rounder from 2011. Thornton or Marleau could put the Islanders over the top as true title contenders with three solid scoring lines assuming Kyle Okposo is healthy for playoffs. Dal Colle is lighting up the OHL pretty good this season, so the Sharks would be salivating over his long-term potential. Mayfield is an intriguing specimen as well, and the pick helps turn the page on a new era in San Jose.

Proposals 13-14

To Florida: Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau

To San Jose: Vincent Trocheck, Michael Matheson and a 2016 draft pick (1st for Thornton/3rd for Marleau)

Vincent Trocheck
Vincent Trocheck

Analysis: The Panthers are apparently going for it, with the addition of Jagr, and bringing in another veteran offensive catalyst like Thornton or Marleau would make the rest of the hockey world take Florida seriously. Put Thornton between Jagr and Brad Boyes and you’ve got quite the potent line. Marleau, on the other hand, could push the pace with Nick Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau. Intriguing options to say the least. From San Jose’s perspective, Trocheck has put up points at every level, including the NHL, and has a lot of similarities to current Sharks rookie Chris Tierney or even Tampa’s Tyler Johnson. Matheson, a former first-rounder from 2012, is among the NCAA’s top offensive defencemen. The pick for Thornton could be a good one if Florida comes crashing down the standings next season. Either way, it’s another asset for the future.

Bonus Proposals 15-16

To Montreal: Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau
To San Jose: Nikita Scherbak/Jacob De La Rose (San Jose’s choice), Sven Andrighetto/Artturi Lehkonen/Charles Hudon/Martin Reway (Montreal’s choice) and Zachary Fucale/Magnus Nygren/2nd Rounder (San Jose’s choice)

Nikita Scherbak
Nikita Scherbak

Analysis: The response from Canadiens fans was overwhelming: ‘Hey, what about us? We need Thornton or Marleau.’ Ask and you shall receive. For the record, I would assume that package ends up Scherbak, Reway and Fucale. Montreal could certainly use another top-six forward and either Thornton or Marleau would fit the bill. Thornton is an upgrade on Desharnais, Plekanec and Galchenyuk (for now), while Marleau adds another scoring winger with size and speed to complement Pacioretty. The Sharks were probably debating between Scherbak and Nikolay Goldobin with their 27th overall pick in the 2014 draft, but the Canadiens made their decision easier by taking Scherbak at 26th. I’m sure San Jose would love to have both. De La Rose has been great since his call-up, so he might be even more tempting as the main piece. The Habs have an excess of skilled forward prospects so they could afford to throw in an extra one of their choice. San Jose needs a starting goalie for the future, so Fucale might be attractive to them — perhaps even more so than Scherbak — but if not, Nygren or a second-rounder would be nice icing on the cake. The best part for the Canadiens is, assuming the Sharks take Scherbak, they wouldn’t have to give up anybody off their active roster in order to add that top-six forward they need.

In contemplating whether to wade into these rough waters, I consulted with THW colleague Andrew Bensch, who has a handle on all things Sharks. He was quick to point out that moving Joe Pavelski — which he covered here — might be the first step in getting Thornton and-or Marleau to waive. Goaltender Antti Niemi is a pending unrestricted free agent at season’s end and another lock to be traded if the Sharks go into sell mode, although there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for goalies at this year’s deadline. Niemi would be intriguing to a lot of teams, as a former Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comments section below. Take your turn as an armchair GM and tell us how you would approach the deadline if you were in charge of the Sharks.

Larry Fisher is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.

71 thoughts on “Sharks Should Dangle Thornton, Marleau at Deadline”

  1. As to Thornton not playing on team Canada that was politics, toews hates tThornton and hence no jumbo.

  2. I agree with Bruce on Patty M, he’s like the sedins in the playoffs, where is he, for a guy who’s 6.2 and weighs 225 he plays like he’s four feet 2 and he’s never played with an edge, that being said with the right coach and the right team he has great speed and a great skill set, great shot and is a very smart player.

  3. Larry how is Fantasy Hockey team doing? I guess you should spend more time following the Sharks before you write another in-depth article about the team.

    • Fantasy teams are doing mediocre at best, about as good as my trade deadline predictions so far ;) but I’m having a lot of fun on both fronts! Thanks for reading.

  4. i think wilson needs to step down after this year, if u look at all the talent traded away, or not drafted, over the last 15 years.. the sharks management has let this team fall off , tyler kennedy trade was dumb, could have a had a traded both 2nd rounders to trade up in the firs…. jamie mcginn trade really had good return after winnick and gali left, plain and simple wilson needs to go!

      • There are some questionable deals there, but the fact he landed Thornton from Boston for peanuts, that will always be his legacy trade in San Jose and Sharks fans have to appreciate his overall accomplishments. But it may indeed be time to step down because he hasn’t been able to put together a team (or coaching staff) that is capable of winning when it matters most. A fresh set of eyes could help going forward.

    • although i agree with you, some of those trades were very good. The Burns deal was really good, and i also wish we would have given havlat more of a chance, i know hes injury prone but if we has a skilled guy like that playing 3rd line would have been nice, not for the price tho

  5. Mantha + Sproul for Thornton might seem reasonable on paper, but, from the Wings’ perspective, it’s simply too much. They’d be sacrificing two crown jewels for a couple good years from a guy who, while elite, doesn’t want to play for any team not named the Sharks and who probably wouldn’t be the greatest fit in the locker room. The Wings might – and probably will – get 10+ great years from Mantha and Sproul. Mantha has Franchise Player potential. Sproul might be the right-shooting offensive defenseman the Wings have been looking for since Rafalski retired.

    • You could very well be right. It’s a big price to pay, but you’ve got to give to receive and Thornton is probably still a top 10 centre in the league. It would be a tough decision for Ken Holland in my opinion and I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, which tells me the value is fair.

  6. You are DREAMING if you think Marleau is going to waive his no trade clause. Thornton may but doubtful. Both of these softies love playing in the Bay Area. They make a ton of money, the fans love them regardless of what they do, and the media either fawns over them or leaves them alone. Marleau in Philadelphia or Montreal? NFW dude. Sure it’s nice to fantasize about these things but get real man. Don’t waste our time with this garbage.

    • I still cannot fucking believe they were given NTCs in their last contract extensions. Did Wilson sign off on that?

    • FYI- The love affair from the fan base for Marleau died over 4 years ago. You can trade him for a bag of chips and the fan base wouldn’t care. His nonchalant attitude would be better played out elsewhere

      • Marleau is golden in SJ. For some reason the average idiot loves the guy. Roenick had him figured out. It’s a shame they gave him a new contract at all.

    • Is it garbage? Marleau in Montreal could be great trade for both teams, a win-win I think. Time will tell, odds are they both stay put but you never know.

      • It’s garbage since we all know Marleau will never approve a trade so fantasizing about it is just silly. Might as well discuss Nolan and Makarov coming back to play for the team since the odds are more in favor of that happening.

  7. I really did laugh at a bunch of these. The one that really cracked me up … the trade to Philly (9-10). The idea that the difference between Thornton and Marleau is the net difference between a 2nd and 4th rounder is just nuts.

    Thornton is still among the best players in hockey. Anyone who watches can see that. Nobody expected Pavelski to be a 40 goal scorer last year, but then he went on Jumbo’s line and it happened. Pretty much no one expected to see it again. And he’s on pace to do it again.

    On the other hand, Marleau is a fraction of what he once was. He still has some game, but its inconsistent. Thornton is one of the top 30 forwards in hockey, Marleau probably isn’t in the top 100 anymore.

    If you want to win a Cup, you trade for Jumbo and make your team better. if you want to take on a salary so you can get to salary floor for the next few years, you trade for Marleau.

    • As far as Marleau, for the most part he shows up in the playoffs so I could see interest but he will NEVER waive. Period.

      • I believe a change of scenery would benefit both Marleau and Thornton as well as allow San Jose to rebuild. But, like you said, both players seem reluctant to move.

        • Marleau and Thornton are certainly in control of their own fate, they are wearing the pants here — or perhaps their wives are — but if they don’t want to pack up and move, well, they won’t. Simple as that.

    • based on what? one year of sub par goal production? he just came off 33 goals/70 points season a year ago and he was (as always) the team leader in post season scoring. he’s the franchise all time scoring leader, never misses a game, and has more game winners than anyone in franchise history (as well as being in the top 10 historically).

  8. How long did it take you to dream all this up? My prediction is the Sharks do nothing even remotely earth-shaking.

  9. Sounds like much nonsense, with the exception of Marleau. He actually should have been traded years ago. Trade him, Niemi, Hannan, and for all I care, Doug Wilson of the big names.

    The problem seems to lie elsewhere.

    Who remembers the first season with McClellan? The Sharks came out of the gate beating everybody for several weeks – how? By playing Red Wings hockey! It was amazing to see that their fiddly, insecure-looking style and players were able to pull that off, making one realize that this team had more talent and ability than was ever shown. What happened by mid-November?
    Wilson and others started whining about the few bad goals due to defensive mistakes, and the brilliant offensive prowess was trimmed back to the more customary Sharks doodling, and subsequent streaky performance. This is just one of many glaring mistakes in recent years.

    Leave Thornton and McClellan alone. Juggle Burnsie as needed: he is solid defensively too, passes well from tight spots, and is great on the blue line. Bring Couture in with the Joes, let Nieto, Desjardins and Wingels lead the 2nd and 3rd, demote Hertl and Marleau, if they are not traded. Work the two good goalies, trade Niemi for beer. Replace Wilson with Owen Nolan maybe. Trade governor Moonbeam and the city of San Jose for Datsyuk. Give me – and others – a decent full season already.

    • Burns is far from solid on defense. His I’ll timed turnovers and mistakes in our d zone are killing us. He belongs at forward.

        • Even if it weren’t this season, personally I think most of us Sharks fans would kill to have someone like Phaneuf back there eating up those minutes on D and have the Sharks put Burns back on forward. I suspect TMac would too.

          As far as Marleau is concerned, he’s going nowhere. His wife Christina just got done finally building their dream mansion here in the South Bay and they recently sold their old house. There’s no way she’s selling her dream house to move to another city and there’s no way she’s going to have him living in another city playing for another team.

          I think things are much the same for Jumbo. His family loves the Bay Area too. My guess is both of them retire as Sharks at the end of their current contracts and remain in the Bay Area for many years afterward.

          It’s a great mental exercise to think about what the team could get for them in trade, so thanks for an interesting article, but ultimately it’s fantasy because neither’s family will let them leave.

          • Thanks for the awesome insight. There is so much more to life than just playing hockey and when you explain that dream home and lifestyle ideals side of things, it makes sense why they are in no hurry to leave for a chance to win a Cup elsewhere. I have no comeback to that. You are most likely right.

            • I think its great to read the proposed trades of others and get into why they think the pieces of the trade make sense for both sides. That shows the writer is someone who is a hockey fan, not just a fan of a particular team. Anyone who trolls you for putting up articles like this doesn’t get the mental exercise one goes through to try to put themselves in the mind of the GMs and their staff. Keep it up.

            • Will do, thanks for the feedback. I’m not claiming to have any insider knowledge like Eklund, just literally spitballing and playing the “What-If” game. I have a lot of fun with it and I do find a lot of people read it and enjoy it even if it’s more so “fiction” haha

          • Well Tell Christiana at the most she’s got one year left in San Jose because at the most he’ll be back next year but after that he will be a UFA and there’s no way the Sharks will re-sign him. I believe she either worked or works for the Sharks so give her some credit she knows that being traded is part of the game

    • Those sound like educated opinions to me. I’m not a Sharks fan or close follower, so I will take your word on some of those fronts. Thanks for the comment and the read.

    • let me educate you on TMac. first, he inherited a dominant regular season scoring machine that played better team defense under previous coaches than at anytime under TMac. second, my suspicions of his status as one of the best coaches in the NHL today was confirmed when he lost the coaching battle to Daryl Sutter in last year’s playoff series and his inability to get the players of this season’s team to respond to him despite going all in on management’s decision to not declare a team captain this season. TMac is great in the post game interviews at dissecting losses and quoting hockey cliches, but that hasn’t translated to getting his players to play a full 60 minute game or be better. if i were the owner of this team i would fire Wilson and the entire coaching staff.

      Nieto and Hertl are having horrible sophomore slumps, but especially Nieto. Hertl looks like he can’t skate and Nieto just looks lost. Niemi makes highlight reel saves, probably keeps the Sharks in more games then they should be in, but gives up head scratchers every game. it’s like spotting opposing teams a goal every game.

      what should happen? a fire sale and serious effort to talk the NTC vets into looking at moving to greener pastures. in the end, if they can’t move either Marleau or Thornton that’s not really going to effect the team’s winning chances, because neither of them are to blame. Thornton’s still on pace for the numbers he’s produced steadily over the years and Marleau is still healthy, can still skate, never misses a game, and (although in a scoring slump this season), has been a consistent 30+ goal producer since his rookie season, up to and including just last season. now, if he has back to back bad years then i’ll concede he’s lost something.

      • Another interesting outlook, basically more along the lines of my thinking from the outside looking in. I, admittedly, don’t follow the Sharks as closely as you guys do. I don’t really have a team — grew up in an Oilers family haha — but I’ve always been intrigued by the Sharks and their potential. For whatever reason, they haven’t been able to put it together when it mattered most and now it might be time to change the course. From management to coaching to the veteran players. Change can be a good thing.

    • This is a very interesting outlook, well educated opinion I would think. Appreciate the feedback and insight. Only one fan’s thoughts, but interesting to say the least.

    • I agree. The Sharks play a different game from when McClellan first began. Then they were unpredictable and exciting, now there simply pedestrian. Maybe the owner should try to lure Babcock from the Red Wings?

      • Or give TMac free hand. Or better yet, offer Scott Bowman enough to lure him out of retirement for a year or two.

    • Fair enough, some would be for that kind of trade and others against it. Those are two high-potential guys for a current elite talent. Tough call for Ken Holland if that offer came across his desk.

  10. Thornton has been their best player and I don’t think he will be traded.
    Marleau for sure….A change could be best for him!

  11. The media needs to chill out! I think trading Marleau for someone like Kessel or Bozak would be great, but Thornton in my opinion is still our most important player.
    If you watch all the Sharks games, it’s evident that every play goes through Thornton, and he makes things happen.

    • I think we agree, Thornton is still an elite talent at 35, similar to Henrik Sedin in Vancouver but maybe even more dominant. Thus the reason I suggested such strong returns, all of which would help the Sharks reload for the future.

    • no, if you actually watch every game you would clearly notice paveski is easily our best player. He does everything and with very few mistakes. Thornton still goes for suicide passes that he was able to do in 06 but cant be done consistently now.

  12. your trade options are absolutely glue sniffing related!!!!! youre way over valuing them…especially thornton…wow!!! and if you think for a second that he’s going to waive his NTC to go to toronto…youre on more than glue. absolutely ridiculous proposals, especially #4…funniest thing ive read all year

    • You are SO right on! I laughed to the point I almost couldn’t breathe after reading#4! Bwahahahaha! Kessel and Bozak for Thornton? Haha… yeah, maybe if Thornton is carrying 12 million in diamonds and Brent Burns in his pocket! Awwww… that was good. I needed that laugh this morning!

      • You are either undervaluing Thornton or overvaluing Kessel and Bozak. Thornton is an elite player, arguably still top 20 in the league. Kessel has an elite shot and above average speed, he’s an all-star, but he’s not a complete player, nor does he make players around him better. I think Toronto could potentially “win” that trade. But for conversation sake, I’m getting the impression that Leafs fans would rather trade Kadri and Phaneuf for Thornton? That was the other idea that crossed my mind when making up these proposals. That would give Kessel an elite centre to work with and Toronto one of the league’s very best top lines with JVR on the other wing. With Rielly and Gardiner leading the defence going forward, Phaneuf seems to be expendable and Bozak would simply fill Kadri’s role on the second line. The Sharks might prefer that package too because Kessel is quite similar to Pavelski and they could use another top-end defenceman. Do we have a deal?

    • At least this guy thought this out and the trades actually make sense from a GM’s perspective and financial perspective. Did you factor in that Toronto would love to unwind the Kessel contract and needs a trade partner that has cap space. I like it when someone suggests trading pieces and at least offers viable options. Thornton is still an elite center who can make anyone better on his line. Toronto would probably throw in more for the Sharks to take on Kessel, that’s a horrible contract they gave him.

      • Kessel is young and one of the game’s best pure scorers. He has an elite shot. He’s actually quite similar to Joe Pavelski, but lacks a bit of his drive. His “motor” isn’t as good to speak hockey talk. We agree on Thornton, though, San Jose’s offence still largely runs through him and he’s the reason Pavelski is on pace for consecutive 40-goal seasons. I think that return is fair as a 2-for-1, but if anything the Sharks maybe add a pick just because the Leafs are “rebuilding” and need some future assets/youth. The other idea I had, as mentioned above, was Kadri and Phaneuf for Thornton rather than Kessel and Bozak. Kessel might be a bit redundant in San Jose whereas Kadri could kind of replace Thornton’s minutes and Phaneuf is a horse on the back end. Thornton would be huge for Toronto, especially if the Leafs could keep Kessel in acquiring him. Kessel would be in the running for the Rocket Richard Trophy every season!

    • I was debating whether the Sharks would need to add a 2nd rounder to make that deal happen. As a 2-for-1, considering Bozak and Kessel are younger, it does seem like a slight overpayment for Toronto. That said, Thornton is still an elite player, better than Kessel and not really slowing down. You put Thornton between JVR and Lupul, they would light it up. If they stayed healthy, they could both score close to 40 — no joke, Thornton makes the guys around him that much better. See Jonathan Cheechoo and Devin Setoguchi. Problem is, the Leafs would be a one line team if they made this deal and Thornton wouldn’t be around by the time their next wave of young talent reaches its prime. Maybe Leafs fans would rather deal Kadri and Phaneuf for Thornton? That was the other idea that crossed my mind because with Kessel’s scoring ability and Thornton feeding him the puck, he should net 50 goals. Thornton between Kessel and JVR, now that’s downright scary!

  13. You can forget proposal No. 3. I wouldn’t trade Hayes straight up for Thornton and there’s no way the Rangers could do this anyway being close to the cap ceiling. The last thing we need is another huge contract and taking on your aging player.

    • Thornton is aging and he might only have 3 years left, but the Rangers would be much better for those three years. Slats is aging too and may not have many years left in his legacy, so he’d love to bring another Cup to New York. Thornton, despite not having a Cup win on his resume, is the kind of guy that can put a team over the top. I don’t see how Rangers fans wouldn’t be over the moon if Slats pulled this off!

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