The Bruins ruined the day for many a long term planning GM today, as they locked up Joe Thornton for three years. The Bruin centre signed on with the B's for 20 million dollars over the three years, not a bad wage in the new era NHL.
The signing also will give Mike O'Connell's fellow GMs cause for reflection as the chance to pick up Thornton next year in free agency is gone for good now. Thornton's deal includes a no trade clause which ties him to the Bruins until 2008. The signing brings to a close those never ending rumours of an unhappy Thornton pining away for a chance to break free of the tyranny of the Bruins organization.
In fact in an interview on The Fan 590's, Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown, Thornton said that he was quite happy with the turn of events and never really wanted to leave the Bruins organization. Thornton expressed satisfaction with the situation in Boston and said he and the Bruins look forward to the following three years and a chance to head for the Stanley Cup.
While he was happy to remain a Bruin, he wasn't willing however to tie himself up with a five year deal, realizing that in the new era NHL his value may be worth more in three years, giving him a chance to negotiate another deal at the prime of his career. As he has improved over the last few years many feel he's on the verge of making that leap in the upper echelons of the NHL, the Bruins will be quite happy to have him make those gains in the Black and Gold uniform with the Big B on the front.