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Bruins Likely Not Done, Could a ‘Jumbo Joe’ Return Still Happen?



Bruins trade talk Joe Thornton

According to numerous NHL sources, the Boston Bruins trade talks may not be done. Early Friday, the Bruins acquired 24-year-old winger Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick, veteran forward David Backes and defenseman Axel Andersson. Friday night, Boston Hockey Now learned there is more.

According to a well-connected source, the Bruins are considering San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton. The former Bruins captain is undoubtedly familiar to fans and the Boston organization. The Bruins trade of Thornton on Nov. 30, 2005, has gone down in franchise infamy. The Bruins were forced to watch Thornton win the Hart Trophy that season and have a hall of fame worthy career with the Sharks. 

Bruins Assistant General Manager John Ferguson Jr. scouted the Sharks for the second time in two weeks on Thursday night in New Jersey. Ferguson knows Sharks GM Doug Wilson well. Ferguson was the Sharks AHL GM when their affiliate was in Worcester, MA, and Ferguson was the Sharks Director of Pro Scouting from 2008 to 2014.

There is a rapport between the two, and there’s a reason Sweeney has him as the lead man scouting Thornton and the Sharks in person. There is more than just a passing interest in creating what would surely be the feel-good story of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

The source cited the Colorado Avalanche as another potential destination for Thornton but also mentioned the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins as two teams who have had discussions with Wilson on what it would take to acquire the 40-year-old center. Remember, Penguins head coach Joe Thornton coached Thornton for the entire 2003-04 season and then was the head coach of the Bruins when Thornton was traded the following season. That move ultimately cost Sullivan and then Bruins GM Mike O’Connell their jobs in Boston.

“Never count [Jim] Rutherford out and remember Sid [Crosby] and Joe won Gold together,” the source said. 

This season, Thornton has 25 points (2g, 23a) in 60 games playing with Timo Meier and Kevin Lebanc on San Jose’s top line.

Thornton likely would not cost the Bruins a roster player either should things materialize on what the source called a “very fluid” situation. BHN will keep you posted on this and any other Bruins trade rumors up until the deadline Monday.

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