“I was actually cheering for them in the Final,” Thornton said. “After losing against Chicago and then seeing Chicago hoist it up it would have been hard to see Vancouver do that too. I was cheering for them and I still have a lot of friends over there – so I was happy for them.”
Thornton’s allegiance makes a lot of sense. In a way, it makes me think of how the Chicago Blackhawks pick their rivals. Longtime fans get their blood boiling for the Detroit Red Wings, but the actual Blackhawks developed a deeper dislike for the Vancouver Canucks after three playoff series.
Just because Jumbo Joe was happy for former teammates (and fast friend Milan Lucic) in Boston doesn’t mean that he won’t try to get a little on-ice revenge against his former team tonight. Still, it’s interesting to imagine Thornton rooting for the team that once traded him.
Video: Devils honor Martin Brodeur, retire his No. 30
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.