San Jose Sharks Trade History: Best and Worst Trades of All-Time

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The History of Trade is a mini-series going through each team’s best and worst trades of all time. Each team has their own history and some may cross over, but the series will try to stick to each team. This article will focus on the San Jose Sharks trade history, finding the best and worst of all time.

San Jose Sharks Trade History: Best and Worst Trades of All-Time

Best Trade

In late November of 2005, the Sharks acquired the talented power forward that is Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins.

The Trade

The Sharks trade left wing Marco Sturm, centre Wayne Primeau, and defenseman Brad Stuart to the Bruins in return for Joe Thornton.

Traded Away

Stuart has seen the most NHL success of the three traded. He and Primeau never played a full season in Boston, as both were traded to Calgary in 2004 for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew. Stuart went on to the Kings, before he played with Detroit for five seasons, winning the Stanley Cup with them in 2008. He returned to San Jose for two seasons before being traded to Colorado. Stuart is an NHL veteran who has played in 1,056 NHL games and scored 80 goals along with 255 assists. He is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Marco Sturm had decent success in Boston through the 2009-10 season, usually scoring over 20 goals each season. Knee injuries and a concussion turned into major setbacks for the forward. Sturm had disappointing stints in Los Angeles, Washington, Vancouver, and Florida before signing to play with Kölner Haie in Germany before retiring in 2014. Sturm played in 938 NHL games during his career with a total of 242 goals scored and had 245 goals scored. He is currently the head coach and general manager of the German national team.

Wayne Primeau’s time in Boston was disappointing and was traded with fellow ex-Shark Brad Stuart to Calgary. Stuart left for Los Angeles, while Primeau stayed with the Flames for three seasons. Primeau was then traded to the Maple Leafs for whom he played one season before being released by the team prior to the 2010-11 season. Primeau played 774 games in the NHL with a total of 69 goals and 125 assists. Once a first-round draft pick for Buffalo, Primeau did not produce at the level he was expected to.

The Return

Jumbo Joe Thornton and Sharks hockey are now synonymous with each other. Thornton’s production for San Jose is completely remarkable. This man can pass like no other, and he has the stats to back it up. His first season with the Sharks was split with the Bruins, as he played 23 games in Boston and 58 in San Jose. During this season he scored 29 times and tallied 96 assists with a league-leading 125 points, earning him the Art Ross Trophy. He was also named the league’s most valuable player, earning him the Hart Memorial Trophy.

He followed this incredible season with another. Appearing in all 82 games for the Sharks during the 2006-07 season, he scored 22 goals and assisted on an impressive 92 with a total of 114 points. He is only the third player in the history of the NHL to have back-to-back 90-assist seasons. Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky also hold this record.

Thornton has produced over 50 points in all of his seasons with the Sharks, with one exception being the 2012-13 season, in which he only played in 48 games due to the NHL Lockout that year.

Before the 2010-11 season, Thornton was named the eighth captain in Sharks franchise history until he was replaced by Joe Pavelski in 2014. He is the 33rd player to reach 1,300 points. In 2017, he became the 13th player in NHL history to have 1,000 assists. Thornton is the franchise leader in assists.

Honorable Mentions: Miikka Kiprusoff to Calgary for a second-round draft pick (Marc-Edouard Vlasic); Sharks trade Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and 2011 first round draft pick (Zack Phillips) to Minnesota in exchange for Brent Burns.

Worst Trade

The Sharks have made some amazing trades and some not so amazing trades since their beginnings in 1991. The worst trade came in 2003 when they sent captain Owen Nolan to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Trade

On March 6, 2003, the Sharks traded right wing Owen Nolan to Toronto in exchange for center Alyn McCauley, right wing Brad Boyes, and a first-round draft pick (Mark Stuart).

Traded Away

The Sharks dealt away what was then the face of the franchise. Nolan came to San Jose after playing nine games with the Colorado Avalanche during the 1995-96 season. He immediately made his presence known by tallying 61 points in 72 games with the Sharks.

Nolan continued to produce offensively for the Sharks. During the 1997 All-Star game in San Jose, Nolan gave the hockey world one the most memorable All-Star moment. He scored a hat-trick in front of his hometown fans. First, Nolan scored two goals eight seconds apart, an All-Star record. Then for his third goal, he called his shot on Dominik Hasek.

By 1998, he also developed into a strong leader and was named Sharks captain. During the 1999-2000 season, he had a career-high 84 points. He scored 44 goals and assisted on 40 others. He finished second in the league in scoring, behind Pavel Bure of the Florida Panthers. During the 2000 playoffs, Nolan led the Sharks to an incredible first-round upset. The Sharks entered the playoffs as the eighth seed, set to take on the number one seed St. Louis Blues. Nolan led the Sharks in the playoffs with six goals, including an insane slap shot from the red line to win game seven for San Jose.

During his time as the leader, he helped shape a young Patrick Marleau into the talented player and leader that he is today. He played 568 games as a Shark, totalling 183 goals and 245 assists.

The Return

Alyn McCauley was the best return on this trade. In his first full season for San Jose, he played all 82 games in the 2003-04 season. He scored a career-high 20 goals and tallied 27 assists. During this season, he showed strong penalty killing abilities and was nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy. He left San Jose after the 2005-06 season and signed with the Los Angeles Kings. McCauley had a reoccurring knee injury, as well as previous issues with concussions, and only played 10 games with the Kings before finishing his career.

Brad Boyes played only one game with the Sharks. He was later traded to Boston in a deal that brought Curtis Brown to San Jose. He found success in Boston and St. Louis.

The first round pick turned into defenseman Mark Stuart who was traded to Boston. San Jose received Steve Bernier in return.

Dishonorable mentions: San Jose gets goalie Ed Belfour from Chicago in return for Chris Terreri, Michal Sykora, and Ulf DahlenIgor Larionov traded to Detroit in exchange for Ray Sheppard.

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