The Joe Thornton trade to San Jose yielded a terrible return to Boston, however with the cap space they gained they signed Zdeno Chara the following off-season. Looking at the deal from this perspective, do you think the B's could have risen as high as they have so far this season without trading Joe Thornton?
It depends on your team. Boston needed a leader, someone that wanted all the blame when things go wrong. Chara is that guy. He is a great leader, a great captain and he jumps infront of so many bullets for this team. He holds himself very very accountable.
Thornton was the second worst captain for Boston ever, just behind Jason Allison. Joe played for Joe. He didn't play for Boston or his teammates. Joe made excuses around every corner.
San Jose needed a big-gun to take some (a lot) of the offensive load off Patrick Marleau's shoulders. Joe doesn't need to be the captain there, he doesn't have to jump in front of the Boston media out there. He doesn't have to take the blame. Joe is in a perfect place and Chara is a perfect place.
One wants (needs) the pressure and thrives under it. The other doesn't want the media spot light and thrives under a more laid-back club.
Fair enough, and I actually thought about doing that. However Thornton and Chara have roughly the same cap hit, so it's not like the cap room they gained from trading Thornton freed up enough for Chara AND Savard.
From this perspective, I could have made the poll:
Maybe you could justify picking Chara if he had some sort of dominant playoff run where he lead his team to a Cup or Cup finals a la Pronger. But I don't see how people can justify picking Chara when he has done no more in the playoffs than Thornton has.
And someone please explain to me how: 7.5+5=7.2. There's no way you can say that the Bruins got Savard and Chara out of the Thornton trade, since Chara alone makes more than Thornton.
I've always liked Thornton. I know a lot of people think he's a choker but I don't believe he is. He had problems with the Habs a few years ago because he was so sick. I remember his face was so gray. Back then the Bruins weren't as deep as they are now. Joe got a lot of attention back then and he was still young. As far as getting eliminated last year... the west is strong... just because they got eliminated doesn't mean he's a choker, anaheim got ousted quickly, doesn't mean their guys are chokers.
Without Chara, the B's defense would be downright mediocre. Look at last season - replace Chara with Thornton and the Bruins don't make the playoffs.
Then again, I'm sure that fans of other teams who haven't seen BOTH players play for the Bruins consistently(ie: more than a handful of games) have better judgment....
Chara came back in a game against the Capitals when he suffered a severe injury to his arm and helped the B's win the game (crucial goal). He was also more effective in 7 games against the Habs in the playoffs than Thornton was in 13 games against the Habs ('02 and '04). Thornton's one of my favourite players, but I have to take Chara in this case.
Chara, without him the Bruins' defense would be very, very average. The Bruins were able to sign Savard who's reasonably close to Thornton. If they had of kept Thornton they would have been able to sign a defenseman, but he wouldn't have been nearly as good as Chara.
Initially I'd say Jumbo Joe, but it all depends on the playoffs this season. If the Sharks actually make it deep into the playoffs then I'll stick with Thornton. However, if they get bounced early then I'd choose Chara over him.