Voters of the Hockey Blogosphere, when it come to making your choice for best center of the decade, there is only one true candidate: Joe Thornton. Don't know much about Joe Thornton since he left the Boston and you couldn't stay up for Sharks games? Can't find Sharks games on national TV? Didn't know that hockey was played in California? Fret not dear reader, it's time to enlighten you about the awesomeness that is Jumbo Joe.
Joe Thornton has everything that you need in a hockey player: speed, skill, and the ability to make players around him better. You want a player who cares more about his fellow players?Joe Thornton is your guy.Despite the fact that he consistently takes close to 100 shots per season, Joe has had more than 50 assists in 6 of the 9 seasons of this decade. That includes this season, which isn't even over yet. He almost singlehandedly helped Jonathan Cheechoo win the "Rocket" Richard Trophy in his first season with the Sharks. Joe Thornton is one of only three players with consecutive 90 assist seasons. The other guys? Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Not bad company there. Joe Thornton is a player who is selfless and helps others more than himself.
Sure we know that everyone is concerned about what a candidate will do when they reach the playoffs. Sure Joe had some rough years while in Boston. But that is all in the past. You want to look at a candidate's recent performance and 30 points in 35playoff games over 3 seasons shows the kind of performance you can come to expect from Big Joe. Plus at 6'4" and 235 lbs, Joe has the size to be able to take on all playoff foes and come out on top.
Despite being Canadian, Joe was made to live in California. He has the laid-back surfer attitude and chronic allergy to shirts that all good surfer boys need. And really isn't that one of the most important qualities that you need in a player that is asked the lead a team: the ability to relax after a game so they can focus their energy on the game.
There are many things that make Joe Thornton the perfect center for your hockey team needs. Size, speed, a deadly passing ability, and the ability to make those around him better make Joe Thornton the greatest center of the decade. And remember, a vote for Joe Thornton is a vote for shirtless locker room interviews.