Is Rick Nash Our Joe Thornton Trade?

“I’d like to play like Joe Thornton does right now. I try to mold my game around his. If you say four years, three years down the road, if I could be where he is, then I’d be pretty happy.” – Rick Nash.

I remember the Joe Thornton trade well. 2005-2006 season. Both the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks were at or near the bottom of the league. It was Thornton, then as he is now, a premiere power forward in exchange for Wayne Primeau (center), Brad Stuart (defense) and our short-lived friend, Marco Sturm (left wing). I don’t recall if any picks went the other way but each of the three players that went to Boston were former first round picks and each of them were fairly young. Joe Thornton was entering his prime.

What I had to look up were the salary numbers. Big Joe was making $6.6 million at the time and was signed for a few years. The three players that went the other way were making a combined $5 million.

At the time, the Sharks were struggling and trying to find their identity. Their Dean Lombardi years were 2 + years behind them and they needed to make a statement trade to get the franchise back on track.

In foresight, it was a good hockey trade. In hindsight, it was a great one. The Sharks added star power. Putting Thornton and Patrick Marleau together give them a dynamic duo of sorts. It was the beginning of San Jose’s rise as a contender.

So here we are. We all “sweat” Rick Nash’s cap hit going into another round of CBA negotiations (even though $6.3 million in salary cap room is going the other way if it becomes Johnson, Bernier and Loktionov). Could the cap go down? Could the cap go up? We could sit here and worry about the cap while other teams are busy trying to win cups. San Jose made the Joe Thornton trade with balls and brains. Can Dean channel each of his?

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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42 replies

  1. Jesus Bobby, you are on fire with the blogs. Slow down, you have a whole week before the deadline.

  2. I meant to add that Columbus has no reason to trade Nash before the deadline. It’s not like they need anyone for this season. They will probably wait until the draft to trade Nash and Carter.

    • That’s true, but from what I was reading today while they would get more teams contending in the offseason, the offers would be less because right now GM’s who are worrying about their jobs come June (looking at DL ever so casually out of the corner of my eye) are feeling like they have to make a big move now and are therefor going to overspend in what they send back. As always these guys are speculating, but the theory is pretty sound

    • I think they want Carter out ASAP. I think the King’s end up with Carter.

    • The reason to trade them at the deadline is to get the extra panic piece. At the draft no one is freaking out about making the playoffs or not and losing their job so they are more likely to offer more. Assuming Lombardi still has a job at the draft, he will probably value that 1st rounder more then than he will now he isn’t sure if he’ll even have a job at the draft.

      • Exactly, so if the Kings don’t land Nash now, we won’t land him at all. The Wings have already stated they would be interested if it were the off-season when they have a plethora of cap space and lets be honest if it’s a choice between LA and Detroit Nash is picking the Wings in a heart beat.

    • Plus they most likely get a better deal if they hold until the off season.

  3. The GM in Boston that traded Thornton away? Mike O’Connell- the LA Kings current Director of Pro Development… if it’s serendipity I hope it doesn’t blow up in our faces… although the Bruins did make out well in the end… if it does blow up, Dean will be the Director of Pro Development for the Flames in two seasons… but boy-oh-boy that back end will be ah-mazing Calgary fans…

  4. Let’s hope it is the Thornton trade, and does not become the equivalent of the Nordiques trade of Lindros to the Flyers.

  5. It’s gotta suck, being JJ or Bernier or Brown, etc. and thinking that you just may end up in Columbus next week playing for a team that is about to begin a 5 year rebuild… Ugh… It would be hard to get up the motivation to work your ass off every game to make your value go up only to be rewarded with a trade to the worst team in the league…

  6. I want Dean Lombardi to make just one trade:

    To the Kings: Ken Holland

    To Detroit: Dean Lombardi, Jamie Kompon and 200 million dollars.

    If they balk, we tell them we’ll keep Kompon and drop the money to 100 million.

    • If that doesnt work trade Lombardi, Sutter and Kompon to Florida for Tallon and Dineen

    • If they are willing to give up Ken Holland, the Kings should give them 200 million, and a bag of Cheese Doritos.

    • Maybe if you send that monster to Ken Holland he’ll think it’s cool and that he’s effectively accomplished all he ever could in Detroit and would gladly take on the challenge of turning another franchise into a Cup contender.

  7. Keep em coming Scribe.
    I’ve got a deadline fever
    and the only prescription is more blogs

  8. The Kings are 17-10-6 with Voynov in the line up. 2-4-1 since sending him down, scoring 10 goals in those 7 games. Why is he a Monarch right now?

  9. Helene don’t call me Helen just posted a story saying Dean could be out if he doesnt salvage the season. Not a hot news flash but pretty strong words from Helene. Wonder if she’s been talking to Lieweekly? Or if he’s using her to put pressure on DL to make a trade.

    • I had to dig that up that article, was a good read, similar to one she posted earlier this Month about trying to get Carter.

      One thing I find odd, or funny I guess, is that we would have acquired TWO former captains (assuming we get Nash)

      Not sure how I feel about Nash or Carter, granted we need the help scoring; just wish we weren’t in this position. I would take another 1st round exit over what we are going through now. BLAH! ( I think I just threw up a little saying that)

  10. Why the change of heart Bobby?

    And yes, it is their Joe Thornton trade, only Rick Nash is better than Thornton, and he will also cost more. But cost me damned, its the same situation.

    Thats what Kings fans dont realize. Those polls you made should be 90% elated for Johnson Bernier for Nash, not more pissed off than elated.

    Its just home town bias. People love their own players and dont appreciate others. The truth is, if the Kings trade for Rick Nash, two years from now Kings fans wont even remember Jack Johnson or Jonathan Bernier. Rick Nash will be the Kings star, carrying the team, and Johnson could very easily get moved off the top PP unit in Columbus, and stop producing all together, and be viewed as a #4 defenseman, while Bernier never breaks in as a top starter.

    Or they could develop into what we think they can, although its not a sure thing. But even if they do, they will still be good players, very good players, while the Kings have a great player, and no one cares about the good players you gave up when you get a great player.

    I remember when Sharks fans cried about losing Setoguchi and Coyle for Brent Burns. Now they love the trade. Burns is their #1 defenseman, Setoguchi is a good, or pretty good, player, but hes nothing special. He is replaceable. The Dallas Stars signed a better player than him in Michael Ryder just through UFA, easy as pie. The Kings did too in Gagne, before he got injured.

    But there was no Brent Burns in free agency. There is no Rick Nash in free agency.

    I remember Sharks fans didnt like losing Matt Carle and Ty Wishart for Boyle. Carle is a pretty good defenseman, viewed as a more puck-moving version at the time of what JJ is now (read: a smaller version). But he has been easily replaced in the long run on the Sharks backend.

    You can find another Matt Carle. You can even find another Jack Johnson. You can certainly find another backup goaltender. You cant find another Rick Nash.

    Hell, Brad Stuart was a good young defenseman, former 3rd overall pick, very similar to Jack Johnson, at the time he was traded for Joe Thornton. But Sharks fans barely remember him anymore, they dont care that they lost him because he was a good player, and they got a star back.

    This is Dean Lombardi’s defining moment, this trade deadline. If he lets the negotiations run until the summer, someone else will swoop in and it will be more difficult. RIck Nash might even take the Kings off his list by then if Detroit and Vancouver and New York decide to go all in for him.

    It’s Dean’s defining moment. Getting Rick Nash alone is a good start, but its still a failure overall. He needs to get Nash and Carter, or Nash, Macarthur, Jason Blake… He cant stop with Nash, although he absolutely has to start with him. Nash fixes the first line, Dean still needs to fix all the other lines afterwards.

    • Good read man. And pretty much spot on.

      • Well, I wonder why it’s taken DL six years to figure out that….. when he came in he had these two guys named Kopitar and Brown….. and did virtually nothing to sort out the first line in six flippin years.

        You can say JW, but he’s not truly a first line player. You can say he drafted Schenn, but Schenn is a center.

        Nope. But you can also ask Bobby. He’ll tell you again what he thinks of DL’s development of top six forwards……. not much.

    • Your right, especially in respect to paying more attention to the bottom six.

      • USHA…. I started to leave you a response and it was getting sarcastic (not at you of course…. at the situation) and then I decided that I’m not going there today.

        I’m going on a DL fast. Hooray.

  11. Thats what Kings fans dont realize. Those polls you made should be 90% elated for Jack Johnson and Johnson Bernier for Nash, not more pissed off than elated.

    I would hope just Bernier for Nash even Kings fans would see is a good deal, lol. But with JJ too they should still be elated.

  12. The Kings haven’t had a “marquee” player since Palffy left – Kopitar ain’t it – Brown is a joke – Nash would be that guy… question is, does he WANT to be that guy. It’s probably why Zach Parise is licking his chops. He’ll be “that guy” and not have to be “Kovi’s shadow”

    • So you’re saying you think Parise wants to come to LA if I understand you correctly? Cause if he goes to Detroit he won’t be ‘that guy’ as they already have several ‘that guys’ on the team.

      Only in LA would he be it.

    • Nash is Kopi in a different uniform. You place Nash in a different stratisphere but Nash isn’t outscoring Kopi offnesne wise. Maybe he fights more than Kopi, or hits a little bit more, but he’s a lonewolf out there, and everyteam he’s ever been on knows it.

      If you say Kopi has played with better players in LA, that still wouldn’t justify the comments since you want to send those players to Columbus along with Kopi.

      If Nash came here, he would have to do just like Penner, Smyth, and Richards, and adjust to a more defensive game.

      Kiss all that offense good bye!

      • See Dom, we can definitely agree on some things. My concern is that DL may be grasping at any straws to try and get them in the playoffs and keep his job going.
        Problem is that Nash seems to be the only key straw out there.

        I’m sure that with a bit more reserve and less panic, there would be other wingers who would be available, cost less, and could pair up w Kopi. But doubt they’re looking at it from that pov.

        And how the heck did Joe Nieuwendyk suss out Michael Ryder as a free agent. Better price than Gagne, more grit I suppose and far better goal production. That’s what makes a good GM.

    • DREW,
      A lot of food for thought. I wouldn’t be against trading for some scorers, it just pisses me off that DL has waited until the bottoms ready to drop to do anything.

      Gagne I would have done anyday, and twice on Sunday during the Summer (same with Richards, because we only have hindsight to work off of), but scorers is a position he has neglected for years.

      It’s been well documented that many of us were crying over it when they let scorers walk, or traded them during the summer, and we were still complaining during the draft when he decided to take defensemen, and goalies (even though scorers was the Kings biggest need from the beginning).

      Many were complaining about having a defense first coach, and a system that prides itself on defense above all else.

      Add all this up, and I can’t understand how people are surprised we’re 30th in offense.

      DL does have to do something, but I’m more criticle of the fact that he didn’t see the writing on the wall years ago, and has painted himself into a corner now.

      He might very well save his job if we make the playoffs, and win a round, but the only way he will prove he was right is if the team does it as is.

      If he has to make bold moves to save his job, then the fact that he had to make bold moves says something about what kind of job he’s doing for us.

      Good article by the way.

  13. We should go after carter and jvr, it bet it would cost the same to get both of them as it would just for nash

  14. No way Columbus accepts the level of players the Bruins did for Thornton.


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