San Jose Sharks

Former Bruins GM Mike O'Connell says Brian Burke fabricated story about Joe Thornton trade

Former Bruins GM Mike O'Connell says Brian Burke fabricated story about Joe Thornton trade

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. 

Believe who you want to believe, but Burke's supposed offer for Thornton seems like the better deal in hindsight. 

Brian Burke reveals what Ducks would've given Bruins for Joe Thornton in 2005

Brian Burke reveals what Ducks would've given Bruins for Joe Thornton in 2005

It appears the Boston Bruins could've received a lot more for Joe Thornton when they dealt him to the San Jose Sharks in 2005, at least according to Brian Burke. 

During a Twitter Q&A session on Thursday Burke, general manager of the Anaheim Ducks at the time Thornton was traded, revealed he was rather frustrated he couldn't pry the future Hall of Famer from Mike O'Connell's clutches. 

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As for what he would've given up for Thornton -- this one may frustrate B's fans. 

O'Connell ended up dealing Thornton to the Sharks for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart. The move cleared cap space for the Bruins to later sign Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard, among others, but could what they have received from Anaheim been better?

If the Bruins ended up receiving Anaheim's 2006 first-round draft pick (19th overall), they could've drafted anyone from Claude Giroux who went 22nd overall to the Philadelphia Flyers to Nick Foligno who was drafted 28th overall by the Ottawa Senators. Now, if the first-round pick Burke was willing to give up was indeed a 2006 pick, then the Bruins who drafted Phil Kessel fifth overall that year could've potentially added two stars for the price of one. 

Thinking about that situation alone should make Bruins' fans cringe, but there's more.

Burke noted he would've given up the player who O'Connell ranked as sixth-best on the Ducks roster as well as a prospect. Looking back at that now, the sixth player could've been anyone from Francois Beauchemin to Joffrey Lupul and a prospect could've been the likes of Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry, according to WEEI's Matt Kalman. 

The sixth-best player makes you shake your head because Beauchemin and/or Lupul weren't the greatest, but the first-round pick and possibility of adding Getzlaf or Perry would've been huge for the Bruins. 

If this deal was done in 2020, you'd have to wonder if Don Sweeney would've accepted Burke's offer.

 

Bruins-Sharks Simulation: Secondary scoring came up big when needed for B's in dominant win

Bruins-Sharks Simulation: Secondary scoring came up big when needed for B's in dominant win

The NHL season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning we may have to wait a while to watch the Boston Bruins again.

As a way to make up for the loss of Bruins action, we'll be using the EA Sports NHL 20 video game to simulate each game on Boston's schedule until they finally return to action.

Previous Simulations:

The Boston Bruins were supposed to take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, March 21, here's how our simulation of that game went.

The B's dominated the Kings from top to bottom in a 4-1 win at the Shark Tank. 

Here are the game stats:

Three Stars of the Game + Game Stats

Tuukka Rask, Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug were the three stars of the game for the Bruins in a 4-1 victory over the Sharks. Although the Sharks led 27-21 in shots, Aaron Dell failed to make quality saves when needed for San Jose. 

Bruins Individual Stats

Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner potted goals in this simulation while Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo added two assists each. Nick Ritchie, Charlie Coyle, Karson Kuhlman and Sean Kuraly also had assists. Charlie McAvoy led in ice time with 31:59 and was key in Boston's victory.

Sharks Individual Stats

The Sharks lone goal was scored by Stefan Noesen and assisted by Tim Heed and Jacob Middleton. Dell had an .850 save percentage and wasn't great in goal for the struggling Sharks. 

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 4, Sharks 1

Bruins Record (Includes simulated games): 46-15-13 (105 points)

*NOTE: We did not include Boston's games against the Buffalo Sabres or Toronto Maple Leafs in the simulation, therefore the simulated record isn't 100 percent accurate*

Next Simulation: vs. Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday

Be sure to keep an eye out for our Bruins vs. Red Wings simulation which is set to drop on Tuesday.