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January 22, 2019
It Happens Every Spring
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
I gave the Sharks too much credit. I knew they were losers, but I picked them anyway, because I didnít think they could possibly collapse again. I was misinformed.
At least Joe Thornton went down swinging. I didnít think he had it in him. Then again, Ryan Getzlaf nearly beat it out of him. But watching Getzlaf and Thornton drop the gloves on the opening draw brought a tear to the eye.
How could I possibly rip Thornton after watching that? Sure, he had one goal, five points, and a minus-3 in the series, but for the first time in his career he actually seemed to give a damn. Congrats, Joe. Itís almost like youíre a hockey player.
Yes, sir, itís a whole new Thornton. Wait, hold on. He skipped out on the media after the loss? Hmm ha. Thatís just Snow Thornton being Snow Thornton. Nice to know some things never change.
The Sharks have to blow it up. Itís over. Itís all over. Theyíre never going to win anything with Thornton and Patrick Marleau as the headliners. But who is going to want those contracts? Marleauís got one year left at $6.3 million, while Thornton is locked in at $7.2 million through 2010-2011. Good luck with that.
Columbus would actually make a lot of sense. The Blue Jackets have tasted playoff hockey; they canít rest on their laurels. Theyíve got the cap space, and Thornton would be the perfect centerman for Rick Nash. The Sharks will never get player-for-player value for Thornton. They need to grab picks and prospects and run like hell. The Bruins donít look so stupid now, do they?
Yeah, I realize Thornton isnít the only reason the Sharks tank every year, but heís the face of this team. The Fish need a new identity. They need to turn the page. Otherwise, itís going to be more of the same next year. Thornton, Marleau, Evgeni Nabokov, and those dreadful clown costumes for 82 games, and then another early exit. But at least Jeremy Roenick wonít be there, so thatís something.