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Sharks acquire Joe Thornton
SJ ships Sturm, Stuart and Primeau to Boston
11/30/05 - By Paul Krill

The Sharks have acquired center Joe Thornton in exchange for forwards Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and defenseman Brad Stuart. Thornton leads the Bruins in scoring this season with 9 goals and 24 assists.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound forward was the first overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft and signed a three-year contract with the Bruins last August. He will earn $6.6 million this season.

"He is a leader who scores points and makes other players around him better," San Jose GM Doug Wilson said in a statement. "To get a player of this caliber, you have to give up something to get something. You would make this trade last month, this month or next year. It follows our philosophy of making our team better for this year and next year."

Thornton is expected to join his cousin Scott Thornton and the rest of the Sharks in Buffalo tomorrow for practice, before San Jose squares off with the Sabres on Friday night. The three time All-Star has 169 goals, 285 assists and 617 penalty minutes in 532 career games, all with the Bruins.

''It's definitely a shock,'' said Thornton. ''I signed a three-year deal with Boston hoping to stay three years. I really thought this was a good contending team, but obviously when you don't win games things are gonna happen.''

The newest Shark has carried the burden for a struggling Boston club this season. The Bruins are last in the North East Division.

''I came here to win and we haven't been winning,'' said Thornton, who insisted he wasn't angry over being traded. ''Who's fault's that? I don't know, but I'm out of here, so it must have been mine.''

Both teams have been floundering of late, so the deal could jump start both teams. The Sharks fell to the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Wednesday night, playing a flat game the entire evening. That result wasn't surprising given that the three Sharks involved in the deal skated in the pre-game warm up, but were all scratched as the deal was about to be completed.

Bruins GM Mike O'Connell didn't mince words in his intentions to generate some life into his club with the deal.

''We felt we needed to shake up the team and sometimes you have to make some difficult decisions to better the team,'' said O'Connell. ''We feel we received three players who can help us immediately.''

Sturm, Stuart and Primeau are all expected to suit up for Boston on Thursday night when the Bruins host the Ottawa Senators.

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