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Not so jumbo

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff April 28, 2009 11:22 AM

I’ve been a big fan of Joe Thornton over the years. But perhaps it’s finally time to see him for what he is: The Alex Rodriguez of the NHL.

Thornton’s San Jose Sharks – the top seed in the NHL - went down vs. the No. 8-seeded Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks last night in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup playoff semifinal series, ending another disappointing postseason run for the former Bruins captain.

But perhaps even worse is the way he reacted to it.

Yahoo’s Ross McKeon writes:

Joe Thornton , who tried to send a message to teammates on the opening faceoff by dropping his gloves in a fight with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf , was first off the ice after the traditional postseries handshake and was first on the bus. He was not available to the media.

A team captain not sticking around for accountability? I guess Kevin Dupont was right all those years back when he should have been stripped of the “C.”

Thornton – unlike Rodriguez – is a tough guy to hate. He’s affable and undeniably one of the game’s top talents. But he scored just five points this playoff series, three of them in one game, and finished the postseason -3.

Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy writes: “This was the third straight year that San Jose finished with 100-plus points and had a season that "had so much promise" before it epically flamed out. So where do the Sharks go from here? Does the team need to be broken up and have new life injected into it? Does that mean trading Patrick Marleau or Joe Thornton?”

Probably. Thornton’s destination won’t be Boston again, not with the money the team somehow has to find a way to sink into Phil Kessel and David Krejci. But here’s a thought: There’s a certain club to the north in Montreal that is going to be losing quite a few free agents. Perhaps they’d be interested in making a deal?

It’s a somewhat tantalizing thought. Thornton would be perfect for what the Canadiens do come April.

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