Did former Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke make up the story about what he offered the Boston Bruins for Joe Thornton in 2005?
That's what former Bruins GM Mike O'Connell is saying.
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In a Twitter Q&A session last week, Burke said he offered O'Connell whichever player he ranked as the sixth-best on the Ducks roster, another roster player, a prospect and a first-round pick in exchange for a young Thornton, who was having a fantastic season.
O'Connell contends that Burke never made an official offer for Thornton.
“The details surrounding this story are fabricated and I can confirm that no such offer was made to me as I never informed Anaheim of my intentions to trade Joe Thornton,” O’Connell said, according to The Athletic's Joe McDonald. “Unfortunately, certain personalities never let the truth get in the way of their ultimate goal, self-promotion.”
Regardless of whether or not Burke put in an official offer for Thornton, O'Connell accepted a deal from the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart.
Burke fired back, telling ESPN, among other things, that "It's unfortunate because Mike and I were friends once." Burke said current Ducks GM Bob Murray was in the room with him when the offer was made.
Brian Burke said his @AnaheimDucks made the @NHLBruins a better trade offer for Joe Thornton than what they got from San Jose in 2005.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 7, 2020
Ex-Bruins GM Mike O'Connell told @TheAthletic that Burke "fabricated" this and "no offer was made."
Burke candidly responded on ESPN ON ICE: pic.twitter.com/57rwvCF7DC
Believe who you want to believe, but Burke's supposed offer for Thornton seems like the better deal in hindsight.