The decision to trade Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau would not be an easy one for San Jose Sharks' GM Doug Wilson. We're talking about the two highest scorers in franchise history. So would they be better off trading one or the other? Maybe both? Maybe neither?
We wouldn't be having this discussion if the Sharks had lived up to expectations over the last seven seasons in which Thornton and Marleau have been teammates. Much of that time they've also been linemates, meaning each individual's successes and failures have been directly influenced by the level of the other one's play.
Thornton is the captain and unquestionable leader of the team. He's been commended over the last few seasons (basically since Todd McClellan took over as coach) for his improvement in his own end of the ice. His offensive numbers have suffered slightly, but his playoff performances have been much stronger.
Marleau on the other hand is the former captain, one who received a healthy dose of criticism when he held that title. Soft, inconsistent play and a perceived lack of a "locker room voice" were the most commonly heard criticisms when he wore the "C" from 2004-2009.
With that said, let's take a look at a few reasons the Sharks would be better off shipping Marleau out of town rather than Thornton.