HEY T.O., GET TO KNOW JOE: Lance Hornby digs up some obscure info on the latest Leaf

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In 2006, Thornton turned the primary and solely participant to be traded in-season and nonetheless win the Hart Trophy. He had 33 factors in 23 video games for Boston, 92 in 58 for the Sharks (swapped for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau). Jaromir Jagr was Hart runner-up that 12 months, Thornton was second to Sidney Crosby in ‘07.


“He’s certainly one of a sort,” Burns instructed the Athletic San Jose after Friday’s deal. “Labored so exhausting. Particular teammate and buddy and nonetheless performs at such a excessive stage. Robust to see him go, however joyful for him going again dwelling close to his household.”


Thornton is the final lively NHLer to attain at Maple Leaf Gardens, Jan. 9, 1999 for Boston in a 6-Three loss to Toronto. Earlier that day, the Leafs obtained Bryan Berard from the New York Islanders for Felix Potvin.


Thornton and Berard are two of eight No. 1 general picks to be traded or signed by the Leafs since 1977 with Dale McCourt, Rob Ramage, Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan, Eric Lindros and John Tavares. In January, 2004, then-Ranger Lindros fractured Thornton’s cheekbone in a struggle. Surgical procedure was required, however he missed solely three video games.


Whereas that Jumbo Joe nickname is definitely becoming, there’s some St. Thomas historical past to it.


Jumbo was a seven-ton African elephant, a star of P.T. Barnum’s well-known travelling circus. Sadly, Jumbo was hit by a practice whereas being led previous a stage crossing in 1885, the place a memorial statue within the city now stands.

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The Leafs didn’t have a primary spherical decide in Thornton’s draft 12 months, having traded it to the Isles. However in acquiring Thornton, they’ve now introduced in 4 of the highest 5 picks that June in Pittsburgh with Patrick Marleau (2nd), Olli Jokinen (third) and Eric Brewer (fifth). The Isles used Toronto’s decide at No. four on goalie Roberto Luongo, whom the Leafs additionally tried very exhausting to get by the years.