GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 17: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks skates with the puck past Martin Hanzal #11 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the first period of the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on January 17 2011 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Now that Rick Nash is a Ranger, don't be surprised to see the Blueshirts make a real play for Jumbo Joe Thornton. Nash and Thornton were magic together in Davos, Switzerland, during the last lockout, and have paired like hand and glove in the Olympics for Team Canada. Thornton would have to allow the Sharks to make the deal, but it's probably a good time for him to go. He has played 1,077 games - 545 with the Sharks, 532 with the Bruins. Still without a Cup.
Oh, where to begin? There are so many issues with this rumor, so let's get to debunking them after the jump.
Problem 1 - Brad Richards
Why would the Rangers go miles out of their way to get Thornton when they already have a No. 1 center on their team? Richards and Nash -- who have played together internationally -- already seem to be a perfect fit for one another, so the addition of Thornton makes no sense. But it's not just about Richards, the bigger problems are below.
Problem 2 - What would he cost?
Glen Sather just navigated through a massive trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Nash. Sather landed Nash without giving up the Rangers' three untouchables -- Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan -- and without giving up Michael Del Zotto or Carl Hagelin as well. Do you really think the Rangers can do that again? Remember, the Nash trade was the perfect storm for the Rangers. Nash wanted out of Columbus, Scott Howson made the massive mistake of making the request public and the Blue Jackets simply couldn't afford to have Nash start the year on the team. Thornton hasn't requested a trade, so do you really think Sather could get him without giving up any of the above? Not a chance.
Problem 3 - His salary.
Thornton is a premiere player in the NHL, there's no doubt about that. He's also paid like one, coming in with a $7-million cap hit for the next two seasons. While that's not a lot of years, the Rangers still need to lock up Michael Del Zotto and add some depth to the bottom six. Not to mention ...
Problem 4 - The holes his acquisition would open up.
When the Rangers traded for Nash they opened up two minor holes, bottom six depth and puck possession. Thornton would cost more than Nash, and getting him would open up some major holes. Plus, it makes the Rangers older and it creates even more problems for the team down the line. New York has a ton of talented youth, and three potentially elite young players. Why give any of that up for an aging player who might not make the team much better once you factor in the losses it takes to get him? The Rangers have taken care of their scoring issues, Nash isn't going to need more help than the help he gets with Richards.
I doubt this rumor has any legs at all. It simply doesn't make sense on too many different levels.
What do you guys think?