The deal came without warning, and it rocked the NHL: On Nov. 30, 2005, the Boston Bruins traded "Jumbo" Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Brad Stuart, speedy forward Marco Sturm and third-line center Wayne Primeau.

At the time, the Bruins were reeling. Their Calder Trophy-winning goaltender, Andrew Raycroft, had lost his form, and the team was losing apace. Thornton, despite leading the team in scoring (33 points in 24 games), was taking heat. Sound familiar?

Thornton was a 26-year-old captain then. Some thought he was too young and immature to bear the burden of the "C." Some wondered where his power game had gone and why he no longer spent much time in front of the net. His play was described as disengaged, lackluster and indifferent.