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Wilson does it again
Trade day trade leaves Sharks pickless
6/24/11 - By Steve Flores -

Well, well, well! DW does it again! The San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson pulled no punches with his draft day trade that brings All-Star D-Man Brent Burns from The Minnesota Wild in exchange for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and the Sharks first round pick from this year's draft. Wilson has a history of trading a lot of Sharks first and second round picks and this one was a doozy.

The masses will debate the virtues of this deal for seasons to come but the one fact that is a for sure is that DW has brought in a top-notch defender with offensive ability, size and a bit of nastiness in his game. The possible problem is that Burns is only signed for the upcoming season and is then looking at the possibility of unrestricted free agency.

In the past Wilson has given up future draft picks for players that have opted to not remain with the club (everyone remembers Brian Campbell). This trade sees the Sharks give up essentially three number one round selections for Burns. Burns is quality but this trade makes little sense unless the Sharks are able to ink Burns to a longer-term deal.

The Shark's window of opportunity is now. Some may say that the team is past 'the now'.

A less than stellar year by key offensive cogs such as Dany Heatley makes one wonder if the team is getting a bit long in the tooth. Word regarding Heatley at season's end was that he had an injured groin and a very painful wrist injury. Heatley often looked sluggish and slow when with the puck this season. His goal tally was embarrassing for a guy who makes his living on scoring 40 plus goals each season. Hopefully it was the injuries that affected his game and not a breaking down of the old body.

Setoguchi's departure will also place more pressure on Heatley's goal scoring abilities as the team's forwards will have 20 plus goals to make up for next season.

The loss of Seto will be a hard pill to swallow for many fans. Setoguchi is homegrown and has seen NHL success. The past two seasons have seen him disappear for some extended periods of time. His name popped up in trade rumors at the deadline this past season but Wilson chose to hang on to him. Setoguchi scored several key goals in the post-season and seemed to have his game on track. Whether or not consistency would have found it's way into his game next season with the Sharks will never be known.

The giving up of essentially three first round picks again lays weak the future of the team. In the most conservative opinions it lessens the depth at the developmental level. A recent issue of the Hockey News portrays the team's depth in the minors as pretty lean on front line talent. The departure of Coyle - a young player that showed huge improvement over the past year does even more to weaken the team's talent level at and below the AHL level.

On a more positive slant the team's top 6 d-men look pretty solid. Burns, Dan Boyle, Douglas Murray, Marc-EdouardVlasic, Jason Demers and Justin Braun should provide a pretty solid level of both puck moving ability and physicality.

The biggest issue here is Burn's contract.

Referring back to Wilson's penchant for simply losing the players acquired when giving up top draft picks - it is imperative that Burns be signed to a contract extension. If Burns is lost to free agency then Wilson has hurt the team. If Burns signs that extension and this team finds a way to get to that elusive title then Wilson will be heralded throughout the Bay Area as a GM that did everything it took to bring San Jose it's first ever championship in a major sport.

The roster is still in need of some fine-tuning and the team is up against the cap. This is the time of year that GM's earn their pay. Wilson's latest blockbuster could change the shape of the team for many seasons to come.


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