There’s a very famous game called Who Would You Do? The premise is pretty simple. Given a choice, decide who you would do.
Your choices: Jason Spezza or Joe Thornton.
Now before you break into song about who you would pick, let’s have a look at a few figures. Let’s called it the STD discussion before you jump into bed. Sometimes the grass isn’t actually that green on the other side.
Jason Spezza: 25 years old
Joe Thornton: 29 years old
Let’s give this one to Spezza, given that those four years will mean a big difference in only a few more seasons.
Jason Spezza: Drafted 2nd overall
Joe Thornton: Drafted 1st overall
Let’s call this a wash. The difference in draft selection is miniscule.
Thornton’s first full season in the NHL: 16 goals, 25 assists, 41 points.
Spezza’s first full season in the NHL: 22 goals, 33 assists, 55 points.
Considering Spezza’s first season was played under a stifling defensive system of Jacques Martin, I have to give Spezza a bit more credit here.
Spezza’s current contract: 7 year, $49 million (averages $7 million a season, going into the second year of the deal)
Thornton’s current contract: 3 year, $21.6 million (averages $7.2 million a season, going into the second year of the deal)
Money-wise, it’s a wash. This one probably goes to Thornton given that it is a shorter contract. But put it this way. Thornton will be 33 years old when he finishes his contract. Spezza will be 32 years old when he finishes his.
Look at it another way. Thornton’s career totals increased each year when he was 25, 26, and 27 years old. His totals are now declining. Spezza hasn’t even played at that age category yet. Look for better numbers over the next 3 seasons.
Thornton’s career playoff totals: 70 GP, 11 G, 37 A, 48 Pts- Average points per game: 0.6
Spezza’s career playoff totals: 40 GP, 13 G, 26 A, 39 Pts- Average points per game: 0.9
Have to give this to Spezza again. Numbers are too good. That’s so close to a point a game, it’s not even funny.
Number of Stanley Cup Finals GP