Apr 9, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) during the game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Ducks defeated the Ducks 5-2 to clinch the Pacific Division title. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Rumors: Joe Thornton a trade target for the Chicago Blackhawks?

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The Chicago Blackhawks came up one goal short of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final and attempting to be the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings pulled off the feat in 1998, and if they’re do get back there next season they could use the help of a dominant second line center like Joe Thornton.

Thornton signed an extension with the San Joe Sharks for three years during the regular season to avoid hitting free agency this offseason, but CSNBayArea is reporting the Sharks could shake up the roster after another playoff disappointment. The Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings who won the next four games to eliminate the Sharks who have a history of playoff failures.

If the Sharks move forward with jettisoning Thornton it could be to the Blackhawks in exchange for Patrick Sharp, 32, who led the Blackhawks with 34 goals this season and is signed through the 2016-2017 season with a $5.9 million cap hit.

The Blackhawks don’t have to make a bold move like this and it hasn’t been the style of general manager Stan Bowman during his time in Chicago, but Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks a bold move to acquire Thornton would do the trick to address the team’s ongoing search for a No. 2 center behind Jonathan Toews.

“Maybe Bowman says the heck with it, offers up Patrick Sharp (whose stock never will be higher coming off a career season) and makes a massive deal with the Sharks to bring Joe Thornton to town. That would do the trick.”

This is just the thought of Lazerus who is the team’s beat reporter for the newspaper and not necessarily the line of thought of the club, but it would make sense for both parties if they are thinking big.

Chris Kuc of The Chicago Tribune wrote that Sharp could be the member of the team’s core most likely to be moved if the team is in need of creating cap space. A move for Thornton wouldn’t free up cap space, but it shows that Sharp could be the team with the most value on the trade market and after being moved to the third line in the postseason could be made expendable.

Sharp is a fan favorite and led the team in points last season, but with the emergence of Brandon Saad and the team’s need for a center who could be flanked by Patrick Kane and Saad and you would have a team poised to make another run at hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup next June.

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Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks

  • Zachary Fischler

    If I am the Doug Wilson, I would do this trade in a heartbeat. The Sharks need new leadership and not that Sharp would fill that role but he would be a piece that would make the Sharks better. The new leadership will likely fall onto Pavelski being the captain with Couture and Vlasic getting the A’s. As a huge fan, I have wanted the Sharks to trade for Sharp and this is a golden opportunity to get him. With any rumor, you don’t know the validity of it. Of course, this could be all speculation. Thornton needs to be traded and I think DW knows that. This team needs to get younger, but also keep some veterans to be mentors for the rookies. Sharp would definitely be a great mentor for the incoming rookies for the Sharks. I would highly support this trade. I hope it happens.

    • Dave

      Doug Wilson will NOT trade to a team in the same conference and make them better.

      • steven

        i want sharp but ya Wilson will not trade a team in the same conference cuz when Thornton sucks he sucks but when hes on his game hes good and that would be bad for us and if he would be on the blackhawks that would be a bad move on are part

    • Dave

      Another thing: Mr. Schmidt took what Mark Lazerus said in his piece in the Sun times out of context, and what Lazerus said was SARCASM! It was NOT meant to be taken seriously! Plus, Lazerus knows this would not make sense, cap-wise, since Thornton carries a higher cap number. And as I said previously, DW won’t trade within the conference to strengthen a conference rival! Be careful what you read in June. And IF Bowman trades Sharp, it’ll be for YOUNGER players, not Thornton. Bowman has already stated that there will be tweaks. Sharp for Thornton is NOT a tweak. And per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, Sharp COULD be a candidate to go IF a core member goes AT SOME POINT.