Traded Thornton a Hart finalist

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

The Boston Bruins' hierarchy might want to go to bed early on June 22.

Finding out you have traded away a Hart Trophy winner -- the first since the days of Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr -- is bound to cause insomnia.

Joe Thornton's huge impact on the San Jose Sharks after the November deal made him one of three finalists for the National Hockey League's most valuable player award. Thornton, who had 92 points in 52 games as the Sharks made the playoffs and the Bruins didn't, is up against Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and New York Rangers right winger Jaromir Jagr.

SALARY DUMP

Thornton was traded for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau, a major salary dump at the time, but now possibly one of the worst deals in league history.

It's the first time Kiprusoff and Thornton have made it this far in MVP voting. Thornton and Jagr joined Washington Capitals' Calder Trophy favourite Alexander Ovechkin as finalists for the Lester B. Pearson Award, which is the players' pick as MVP. Kiprusoff also made the Vezina short list with Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

There weren't any shocking omissions among the finalists for awards, all voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The Vezina is voted on by the 30 NHL GMs and the Jack Adams coach of the year award is determined by league broadcasters.

No Maple Leafs were named as finalists. Forward Jason Allison is the club's nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey, a PHWA vote yet to be conducted.

All award winners will be announced on June 22 on the CBC's televised awards show during draft week in Vancouver.


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