Thornton To The Ducks

Thornton To The Ducks

As we all know former Ducks, GM Brian Burke, recently talked about a potential trade he tried to make for Joe Thornton. The Bruins ended up trading Thornton to the San Jose Sharks in one of the worst trades in Bruins history. The return for the Bruins was forwards Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau, and defenseman Brad Stuart. While players weren't named by Burke, he did say the trade would have been the Ducks sixth-best player, a prospect, a first-round pick and another roster player. With all of those options here is what I think the return from the Ducks could have been.

Potential Ducks Package

First, let's look at the prospect part of the deal. I think the Ducks would include their 28th pick in the ‘03 draft, Corey Perry. With other forwards drafted higher like Lupul and Getzlaf, Perry could have been deemed expendable by Ducks management. We all know how Perry has turned out,and it's safe to say he would have fit right in with the Bruins style of hockey. Perry has been one of the leagues best power forwards for the majority of his career, and would have been a fan favorite from day one.

Moving to the sixth-best player on the roster, I have seen both Lupul and Beauchemin mentioned. The Ducks had just traded for Beauchemin, so I don't see them moving him. As for Lupul, he was the seventh pick in the 2002 draft and likely viewed as a cornerstone player moving forward. That leaves Petr Sykora as the sixth-best player on the Ducks. Sykora had seen a severe drop in production scoring 48, 59, and 52 points in his last three years. Sykora fits the Sturm spot in the actual trade as a proven scorer who could put the puck in the net.

As for the other roster player, I see the Bruins asking for Vitaly Vishnevski. The fifth pick in the 1998 draft, Vitaly had not had the impact the Ducks were hoping for. The Bruins main return piece was Stuart in the actual trade, who was drafted third overall in the same ‘98 draft. With Beauchemin not being included Vishnevski could have been viewed by the Bruins as a player who needed a change of scenery.

Now, this brings us to the final and most important part of the Bruins return the Ducks first-round pick. Without Thronton, the Ducks had the 19th pick in the 2006 draft. So with him in the fold, it's very likely that pick is lower in the first round. With a superstar, Claude Giroux, going twenty-second, and NHL regulars Patrik Berglund and Nick Foligno going twenty-fifth and twenty-eighth respectively. The Bruins had a good chance at another impact player depending on where that Ducks pick ended up.

Final Thoughts

The return now looks like Corey Perry, Petr Sykora, Vitaly Vishnevski, and that first round pick. Even if the Bruins ended up with the thirtieth pick which was Matt Corrente, who only played 34 NHL games, that is still far better than what the Bruins actually got as a return for one of the best forwards in the league. Yes the cap room opened up by the trade led to the Bruins getting Chara and Savard. However, with Perry, Sykora and Giroux as possible core players for years to come it's hard to excuse management for taking such a lackluster return. As we all know hindsight is 20/20 but this was clearly a missed opportunity. Even if Thornton wasn't moved for these players it wouldn't have been hard for another team to beat the Sharks offer. Don't forget to check out our other sports pages and stay up to date on all things Boston sports and when they all might be returning.

Featured image courtesy of Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images.

Written by Michael Rudd

A life long Boston sports fan who isn’t afraid to admit that at the age of 27 I have been spoiled by the last 20 years of domination by all of our teams.

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