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Thornton returns to Boston
Plenty of media buzz surrounds city
1/9/06 - By Mike Lee

Let the hype begin. Super Joe will make his triumphant return to Boston on Tuesday night, a little more than a month after being dealt by the Bruins to the Sharks in what has been the deal of the year thus far. After playing seven seasons in Boston, Thornton will have to deal with the media pressure that goes with a superstar's return. How he deals with that and the fans reaction remains to be seen, but by all accounts, he seems to be taking things in stride.

"I have a lot of great memories here and made a lot of friends and, really, this is where I grew up and I still come back," said Thornton on Monday. "It's a good place to grow up. I had a lot of fun as a kid and now I'm a man."

Thornton has certainly demonstrated to the San Jose faithful that he's all business when it comes to lacing up the skates and doing what he gets paid to do.

Thornton ranks third in scoring (6 goals, 20 assists in 15 games) for the Sharks, even though he played 24 fewer games than his teammates. His arrival instantly resulted in two formidable offensive lines that opposing teams must deal with, and that has resulted in success for the Sharks.

The Sharks are 10-4-1 since Thornton arrived and they are gaining on other Pacific Division foes. San Jose had lost seven of ten prior to "the trade". Now the Sharks look to hunt down enough adversaries to qualify for the playoffs. And as well know, it's a whole new season once you get into the playoffs.

There are still 43 games to play, but Thornton will trying to get through the big one on Tuesday night when he returns to his former home. He holds on animosity toward the Bruins (at least on the outside).

"The big thing is when teams don't go the way they're supposed to go, people get traded or people get fired. It's just the nature of the business," Thornton said.

It will certainly be an interesting game. There are more subplots than simply Joe Thornton. There were three other players involved in the deal that brought Thornton to San Jose. All done the black and gold now and seem to be settling into their roles as Bruins.

"It's been a month now, already, and I think we feel more comfortable than two or three weeks ago," said former Sharks forward Marco Sturm. "I know Joe is one of the best players in the league, but he's only one guy. That's why they got all three of us to chip in in different areas."

"I've got some great friends over there, some great memories," said Wayne Primeau. "I'm a Bruin now, so I've got to put aside the Shark feelings and move forward."

It will be interesting indeed.

Baby Sharks to Get a Taste of New England

The Sharks formally announced on Monday that they will relocate their top development affiliate from Cleveland to Worcester, Massachusetts next season. The Team will play at Digital Federal Credit Union Center in Worcester.

Sharks Minor Holdings President Michael Lehr and Sharks President Greg Jamison made the announcement in conjunction with Worcester City Manager, Michael O'Brien, the DCU Center's General Manager Sandy Dunn and American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews. Joining them for the announcement were San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson and Cleveland / Worcester GM Wayne Thomas.

"Locating this franchise in Worcester has many benefits, including a closer proximity to other AHL clubs, more favorable travel issues, a wealth of hockey fans and a building better suited to our business model," said Lehr. "The success of our new franchise will be built on the partnership between the City of Worcester, the DCU Center and the Sharks."

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