Has any team had a more anti-climactic off-season than the San Jose Sharks? We expected fantasy league-type trades. We expected more.
And we expected more because GM Doug Wilson established the bar to judge the Sharks’ off-season by with his suggestion in June that they would undertake a rebuild.
From Kevin Kurz at CSNBayArea.com:
“The rebuild is committed to. The players that fit for now and the future, their growth is going to be the primary thing. … Remember where we’re trying to get to. It’s not about here, it’s about there.”
“I’ve had a lot of calls, a lot of people at the GM meetings (last week in new York), they know where we’re going. We now become a tomorrow team. When you spell that out, it does create a response.”
“You have to do it. It’s not easy, but it’s one of those things. I think it’s made easier by some of the key young players we have in key positions. But, make no mistake about it, it’s going to be challenging. You go into it with your eyes open, and you go into it committed.”
This set off a firestorm of reactions that the Sharks would be busy with trades this summer. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton were at the center of these rumors, which never made sense to me since the two had just signed three-year extensions that included no-trade clauses that same season. But the rumors didn’t end with them. Brent Burns and Antti Niemi were also included and it was assured neither Dan Boyle nor Martin Havlat would be back. What we knew was that Logan Couture, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski (who is destined to regress next season, by the way) would be the new leaders of this team.
As Wilson said at the draft: “We’ve got key young players in key positions. If we didn’t have that, then you’re talking about a much longer type of rebuild. It’s not that you’re far off and it’s not that it can’t be fixed quickly.”
OK, so maybe it was supposed to be less a rebuild and more a re-tool, built around a younger core. But we still expected at least one or two big moves. Read more