Monarchs Send Thornton to the Slammersby Michael Oram | January 28, 2017, 6:02 PM ET
The Monarchs have done it again. Another season, another blockbuster trade. In the 2016/17 version of this repeating storyline the Monarchs have sent SICHL legend Joe Thornton to the Ottawa Slammers.
Although Thornton is a pending unrestricted free agent this trade comes as a bit of a surprise. At the time of the trade the Monarchs were atop of their division and Thornton himself was leading the team in scoring.
So why would the Monarchs go ahead and make such a trade? It boils down to two reasons. The first is consistent play for the Monarchs. The second is the obvious contractual situation.
Despite being near the top of the conference and in the heat of a tight divisional race the Monarchs have struggled with multiple losing streaks and the powerplay has been abysmal all year.
By bringing in both these players the Monarchs moved Tomas Plekanec up to first line centre. Patrick Maroon steps into the second line winger role. Backlund slides into a defensive role on the third line, Zack Kassian drops to the fourth line, and Lance Bouma moves to the press box.
Backlund also finds his way onto the first powerplay unit while Maroon lands a spot on the second unit. The Monarchs hope that with these two new additions the team can find its consistency and improve their powerplay.
Finally bringing in Backlund and Maroon gives the team options moving forward as both players are under the team’s control for the foreseeable future.
It is unclear if this move is the Monarchs last for the season. They are rumoured to be shopping a couple defenseman and even penalty kill specialist Jarret Stoll.