Win that Cup, Joe

Ezra Shaw

Is it possible to be a fan one of team while rooting for another to win the Stanley Cup? Yes, because Joe Thornton.

Raise your hand if you thought the Boston Bruins would win a Stanley Cup before Joe Thornton after he was traded by the team back in 2005.

Now put it down because you're a filthy liar.

Things looked pretty bright for the man we call Jumbo when he was dealt to San Jose, as he would go on to win a Hart Trophy and make Jonathan Cheechoo look like, well, Maurice Richard. And in truth, things have gone all kinds of alright for both the Bruins and Thornton (who added an Olympic Gold Medal to his resume to boot) since that time.

But I'm here to unequivocally state that in 2013, all Bruins fans should actively be rooting for Joe Thornton to win a Stanley Cup before he retires.

Period.

I was 16 years old when Thornton was drafted first overall by the team in 1997, and with childhood hero Cam Neely already gone and Ray Bourque soon to fly West for a Cup of his own, he instantly became my new favorite Bruin, despite the early success of another 1997 draftee.

As #6 morphed into #19 and seven points became 101 points, he was everything I hoped he would be when he was plucked out of Sault Ste. Marie. He scored, he bruised, he lived up to expectations and became a franchise player, for better or worse.

Yes, there were playoff disappointments along the way, but when he re-upped with the team coming out of the '04-'05 lockout, it seemed like he was on track to help the Bruins to an eventual Cup victory. For whatever reason, he was dealt early that season, and, for whatever reason, it hasn't worked out for Joe and his Sharks.

But as San Jose visits Boston tonight, I, for one, am 100% rooting for him to win a Cup before it's all said and done. He represents the young adult era of my Bruins fandom, expectations semi-fulfilled, and the one that got / was thrown away.

And I dare say you should be rooting for him too ... as long as it's not at the hands of the Bruins, am I right?

Or maybe, just maybe, Bruins fan can enjoy the best of both scenarios after Joe comes back to Boston as a UFA this summer.

I'll settle for four goals in a Game 7 to clinch the Cup, just to see what happens.

Read more on the Bruins:

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