New York Rangers Need To Stay Away From Joe Thornton

By Steven Carollo
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Great. Just great. Another old “superstar” wants to go to the New York Rangers. You think the Rangers would have learned their lesson after the Brad Richards fiasco, but obviously they have not.

Reports have surfaced over the past day or so that the Rangers are looking to acquire center Joe Thornton in a trade from the San Jose Sharks during this offseason. If these reports are true and Thornton is a Ranger next season, this will prove to be a complete disaster.

Three years ago, Richards was a former All-Star center who was on the wrong side of 30, but that of course did not stop the Rangers from throwing money at his skates and sign him to an ungodly nine-year contract worth $60 million. Richards has only completed three years of that nine-year contract and the Rangers are looking to buy him out, because if the Rangers do not before July 1, then they would have almost no money to sign their restricted and unrestricted free agents, resulting in the Rangers saying goodbye to half of their starting roster.

So one would think the Rangers would learn a lesson from their Richards mistake, but obviously not if these Thornton reports are real. Thornton is the same age as Richards, 34, and is coming off of a 76-point season, which was one point less than what Richards recorded with the Dallas Stars just prior to him signing with the Rangers.

If history has proven anything, it is that when the Rangers grossly overpay for an over-the-hill center like Richards, Bobby Holik or Eric Lindros, it just never works out. But unlike two of the three names I just mentioned, Thornton has never won a Stanley Cup, and unlike Lindros, Thornton has never even made it to a Stanley Cup Final.

Thornton has always had the reputation of performing well in the regular season but failing to step up his game in the postseason. Sound familiar? Try Rick Nash on for size.

Not only that, but Thornton is not a true leader and is very immature for a player his age. Just this season, what he said about what Sharks teammate Tomas Hertl should have done after scoring four goals against the Rangers is something you would not expect to be said by a veteran.

Also, just two seasons ago after losing 5-2 to ironically the Rangers, Thornton called the Rangers the softest team in the league, which then Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella calling Thornton the best player in the NHL never to win anything.

The best player in the league never to win anything — this is the legacy of Joe Thornton. Why the Rangers would want to acquire him, never mind his $7 million per year cap hit, is all beyond me. The Rangers still have not even bought out Richards, and if one person knows how to completely hamstring a team, it is GM Glen Sather.

Steven Carollo is a New York Rangers and sports writer for Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn, and join his Google network.

Related Links:

New York Rangers GM Glen Sather Faces Tough Decisions This Offseason
New York Rangers: Rick Nash’s 2014 Postseason Summed Up By Missed Chance In Final Game
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