| Doug Wilson's
Inability to upgrade will prove
3/9/04 - by Mike Chen
Wilson, your biggest test as San Jose Sharks general manager was your first
trade deadline. So far your moves have been small, but solid: signing all of
your players for camp, bringing in Nils Ekman, bringing back Alex Korolyuk.
Even the Miika Kipprusoff deal wasn't bad. Yes, Kipper is playing ridiculously
well in Calgary, but the same thing could have happened with trading Toskala or
Nabokov-and everyone in San Jose remembers Kipprusoff's huge rebounds and soft
goals. No one would have offered up more than the second round pick that
Calgary sent to San Jose.
Leading up to the trade deadline, the Shark
Sandwich grade for Doug Wilson is a solid B. Nothing spectacular, nothing bad.
But Doug, seriously, how do you explain what happened?
Sturm goes down with injury. You're not going to trade the farm to replace him,
but a deal for both today and tomorrow makes sense. You've got a fine crop of
young defensemen available and two of the top scorers in the AHL in Brad Boyes
and Miroslav Zalesak as bait.
And you come up with
For those of you who don't know much about Brown, he's essentially an
older Alyn McCauley. Good speed, good on face-offs, a good checker, and in his
late 20s. Not a bad addition.
But for the cost of your top forward
prospect in Brad Boyes?
Let's look at some of the other deals that
have occurred. The Rangers were selling off all their parts for a prospect and
a pick (see Alex Kovalev, Brian Leetch, Martin Rucinsky). 2nd liner and former
25 goal scorer Anson Carter went for a prospect. Hit-or-miss winger Val Bure
went to the Stars for a middle of the road prospect. Hall of Famer and 40 year
old center Ron Francis went for a fourth round pick. Steve Sullivan went for
two second round picks. Heck, the oft injured and overpaid Brian Savage went to
St. Louis purely on the condition that St. Louis could trade him back after the
season if they were unsatisfied.
Do you see what I'm getting at here,
Doug? Brad Boyes should have been the centerpiece in a blockbuster deal. He
was, in fact, the main reason Dean Lombardi traded Owen Nolan, in addition to
receiving Alyn McCauley and a first round pick. McCauley was considered a
throw-in (as Toronto had him buried in the depth chart), and first round picks
are unpredictable. But the organization-which you helped build-knew Boyes would
be good. And you've given him up for a 3rd line grinder, a guy who will help
out but is not a key player. He is an interchangeable part, a guy you could
have picked up for a third round pick or less.
I have nothing against Curtis Brown. I'm sure he'll
come in and fill out his role well. He was highly regarded coming into the
league, but never passed his peak of 51 points in a season.
first heard that there was a three-way trade with Boston, Buffalo, and San Jose
involving Jillson and Boyes, I thought, "He's done it. He's gotten his long
coveted choice in Drury, or maybe got impending free agents Miroslav Satan or
Brian Rolston." Why?
Because you have to give to get in this league,
and Brad Boyes was valued enough to get a hefty return.
forget that Andy Delmore was thrown in by Buffalo and given to Boston for
future considerations. Those future considerations better mean in roads to a
future deal for injured Sergei Samsanov or a player of considerable worth. Yes,
Andy Delmore was horrendous in his own zone but he was a prime power play
quarterback with a blistering shot. He would have bolstered a hobbling power
Let's look at the Sharks shopping list. Top six forward.
Power play help. Veteran defenseman.
No, no, and no.
this all you want to the media and the fans, Doug. The numbers don't lie. The
deals made by other teams don't lie. The truth is a bitter smack in the face.
Was there opportunity? Plenty, from a variety of teams. Did you have the goods
to pull off the right deal? Considering what other teams paid for quality
forwards and defense, yes, you could have done it. And you didn't. In fact, the
San Jose roster and farm system is worse off today than it was 24 hours ago.
And because of that, Doug Wilson, you get a grade of F for this year's
Contact Mike at email@example.com
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