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To Marleau or Not to Marleau?
Does Wilson deal the Sharks captain
6/7/09 - By Steve Flores -

Patrick Marleau traded! No, no he hasn't been. But, can you imagine the response if that headline were to become true? Can you see it - "The San Jose Sharks deal their longtime captain for a bag of pucks!" Ok so they won't get any galvanized rubber for him but realistically what would they get you ask?

Well, I will tell you what they won't get and that is equal value!

Marleau has just come off his best regular season. Yes, he had 38 goals and played the best defense of any forward on this team. The guy's God-given speed and size were used to his utmost this season. Marleau makes more defensive saves than any other forward on the roster. I cannot count how many times he had to go back and make a defensive play on a turnover or on a play of quick transition.

The rumor mill is already circulating that GM Doug Wilson is going to deal Marleau. Rumors are that Wilson may deal him for a draft pick.

Great!!!!!!!! That's exactly what this team needs is a guy that wont be able to help for 2 or 3 seasons. Let's be honest and use our noggins folks. Marleau has more skills than most players. He led the team in goals. He is the team's all-time leader in virtually everything. So the team hasn't managed to breakthrough in the post season so let's deal him for a draft pick!

Why is that smart?

Answer - it isn't!

Marleau brings natural gifts that Wilson will simply not be able to replicate in terms of fair value in any trade involving Marleau. If Wilson deals for a draft pick it would spit in the eye of all of the other deals he has made in terms of dealing the Sharks prior top picks for veteran help. The cupboard of draft picks has been rendered thin by Wilson 's machinations at the helm of the good ship San Jose . If Wilson pulls of a Marleau for draft pick deal there is no justification. What is he gonna say "oh, yeah I dealt several of our #1 draft picks for veteran help (the bulk of which are now gone) and so I decided to trade our all-time leader in everything to get one back"?

The bottom line would be that Wilson not only dealt away several top draft picks but he also dealt away the Sharks all-time leader in everything when those other trades failed to produce the desired effect!

What does that say about Wilson ?

I will tell you what it says - It would state that Wilson is a man in disarray. He is a GM making deal after deal in an attempt to find the ever elusive 'Pot O Gold'.

I have defended Wilson 's moves in the past. I find him to be a thoughtful and bright man and I have agreed with his "win now' if you can mentality. The problem is that his decisions have not resulted in the sought after goal. Of course, this is all conjecture as Wilson has not traded Marleau for a draft pick.

My bottom line is that Marleau is a rare talent. He had a great season and he was injured in the post season. Fans have the right to be upset and they have the right to voice their frustration. Doug Wilson does not have the luxury to let emotions or his failures as a GM affect his decision-making. If he deals Marleau it had better be for equal value. The Sharks are dealing from a position of weakness in this scenario and thus the odds are that he would not get equal value. A draft pick is another failure. To give up one of the league's most gifted athletes for a player of 'potential' is not sound.

I realize that the logic of the trade would be strengthened if Wilson made that deal and then signed a top notch Free Agent to help deposit goals on behalf of the team. Well that is all well and good, but I would rather see the Free Agent in Addition to Marleau - That would truly make the team stronger - ah salary cap!

Wilson is on the hot seat. He must make changes but they must be wise. Believe me Marleau for a draft pick will cost him his job as GM. It may not be this season but if the deal is made DW will be looking more like the Mr. Wilson of Dennis the Menace fame than an elite member of the NHL fraternity.


Contact Steve at stevybo@yahoo.com

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