Support this community by becoming a Sponsor
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

A Little Thin - but We Go
Bargaining? Depression? Acceptance? (well, it's called a "deadline")
2/18/15 - By Ken Smyth -

The San Jose Sharks' players, according to "insider" Kevin Kurz, spent this Sunday doing some team building. Great idea, I was hoping General Manager Doug Wilson might do something similar: grab a flight down to Scottsdale for some golf with Jeremy Roenick. On the way to the course drop off his phone and roster sheet with Oakland A's GM Billy Beane and leave him charge of the team over the trade deadline.

All right, that didn't happen. But the idea of the team being turned over, killed and then rebuilt from scratch in a few weeks, as Billy Beane likes to do twice a year, still has a certain appeal. Wilson instead shipped off James Sheppard, Tye McGinn, Andrew Desjardins, and Tyler Kennedy from the current roster and garnered Blackhawks center Ben Smith, a 4th round pick, and two 7th's.

Hearing all the noise about second and third line players going for first-round picks makes this look like small returns. On the other hand, the people in the stands who want to trade the whole Sharks' bottom end bench for a bag of pucks and two rolls of stick tape should be happy. You can read these slim pickings a few ways.

First is that Wilson may have tried for more value but with underperforming older players not being scarce, and none of these guys having undiscovered potential, he took what he could get. This does sort of admit that the Sharks' are following the Kubler-Ross model in their rebuild, but that's a hard sell with season ticket deposits due in about ten days.

Second is that Wilson may have been ordered to get draft picks for these guys no matter how small the return in order to prepare for next season's full rebuild. Reading some of Dean Lombardi's recent comments about the trades he was told to make in his last few months with the Sharks gives this a little credibility. It also suggests that Doug Wilson may have finally worn out the owner's patience.

A third scenario is that Wilson is simply gathering picks to stack together, expecting to make some deals in the off-season, when roster players are available to continue the "rebuild on the fly". It is expected that several teams will finish this season with serious salary-cap problems. The Sharks could take advantage of this, as they did in 2010 when they signed defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson off the Blackhawks' roster. This exploit resulted in the Blackhawks matching the deal but forced them to give up goaltender Antii Niemi who promptly signed with the Sharks.

Whichever, it all means more ice time for the young forwards which is a good thing. With Sheppard and Desjardins gone, Tomas Hertl gets a more extended audition at center. My personal take is that he looks more involved in play when he's been at that position, as opposed to floating about someplace when he's on a wing.

Although the Sharks' most obvious need is defense, the only move there was acquiring AHL defenseman Karl Stollery in exchange for AHL forward Freddie Hamilton. Minor surprise is that Scott Hannan is are still on the roster. There was also large speculation about Antii Niemi being traded, instead he remains a Shark.

This team still needs a reboot with a real boot, not just a reshuffle of supporting players. All of you who lamented about how the Sharks were so much more fun when they needed to scrap and fight to make the playoffs must be rejoicing about the prospects for the rest of this season. But looking at the Pacific Division, they're in little danger of dropping below 5th place in the standings as Arizona and Edmonton solidified their own weakness in the great race for draft pick supremacy. Billy Beane may yet be called for some advice in July.

Contact Ken at at


What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 1997-2018 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with the San Jose Sharks, any team, or league.