Four years ago to this date, the San Jose Sharks franchise was changed.
In the 2005-06 NHL season, the Sharks had been struggling and producing far less then expected. General Manager Doug Wilson pulled the trigger to swap Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau for the captain of the Boston Bruins, Joe Thornton.
This move changed the lives of all three of these players and has helped the Sharks become an elite franchise in the NHL for years to come.
Thornton had been quoted to have been "blindsided" by the deal and was unsure of his move to sunny San Jose.
Of the three players, one can say Stuart gained the most, having been able to win a Stanley Cup in Detroit, but Thornton became the face of San Jose and the Sharks franchise.
Now, in 2009, San Jose was able to acquire another big name player in Dany Heatley.
The acquisition brings up the possibility of having Thornton, Heatley, and Marleau on the ice at the same time. It has been one of the most productive pairings up to this point and has been labeled the best line in the NHL.
Of course the one thing the Sharks have been unable to attain is Lord Stanley himself. They were able to get the Presidents Trophy last year, as the team with the most points in the NHL, but it was for nothing as they lost in the first round.
Now the Sharks sit in a familiar position, as leaders of the NHL. Though they will not be judged on this performance as their success will be judged on how they do in the second season.
The trade can be seen to be a success over these four years for the Sharks franchise, but they have been unable to achieve the most important prize.
How much longer will the Sharks take to achieve the ultimate goal?