SUN Hockey Pool

Thornton loss a big void

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

It would be hard to imagine the Calgary Flames without their captain, Jarome Iginla.

But that's the boat the Boston Bruins are in after leader and superstar Joe Thornton was dealt to the San Jose Sharks Nov. 30 -- a move that came as a shock to many.

Winners of just six of their last 17 games after last night's 3-2 win in Minnesota, the Bruins seem to be a team without an identity. And that hurts, says Andrew Ference.

"It's obviously a big hit when your leader's gone. You take a captain out of the room, and also someone who's been in your organization for a long time, it's a shock to the system for everybody," said Ference when asked how he would feel if something like that happened in Calgary. "In our case, Jarome, it's taking out a big piece of the foundation. The team's built around a guy like that. The attitude of the locker-room is built around how he approaches his captaincy. You take that away, the team becomes unstable."

Veteran Flames forward Tony Amonte, no stranger to trades during his 14 seasons, understands why the Bruins are still struggling.

"Huge void to fill. The guy's the captain of the team, led the team basically for the last five years in scoring. Produced most of their offence," said Amonte. "They traded one of the best centres in the game. I've always considered him to be one of the best centres. He's big, he's strong, he scores, he does everything. It's tough to come by guys like that."

Blueliner Jordan Leopold knows Iginla isn't going anywhere but says trades are part of the business. Dealing with departures isn't easy but it is essential.

"It's an adverse game. You have to take those things in hand," said Leopold.

"We are professionals and you have to go about your business and about doing your job and that's just the way you have to look at it."


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