Colorado Avalanche\'s Daniel Winnik (34) celebrates a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 in Denver. The San Jose Sharks have acquired forwards Winnik and T.J. Galiardi from the Colorado Avalanche for forward Jamie McGinn and two prospects. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Barry Gutierrez
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The struggling San Jose Sharks acquired forwards Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi from the Colorado Avalanche on Monday for forward Jamie McGinn and two prospects in a move to bolster their depth and penalty killing for a playoff push.
San Jose also acquired Anaheim's 2013 seventh-round pick, previously held by the Avalanche, and sent minor leaguers Mike Connelly and Michael Sgarbossa to Colorado in the deal that came just before the NHL trade deadline.
The trade happened while the Sharks were flying home from Minnesota after wrapping up a 2-6-1 road trip that knocked them out of first place in the Pacific Division and left them in a fight for a playoff spot with six weeks remaining in the season.
"It's nice when things have not been going the way you want to get some new life in the locker room," said injured defenceman Douglas Murray, who left the trip early after being hit in the throat with a puck. "Hopefully this will kick start us out of our funk."
That's just what general manager Doug Wilson hoped to accomplish with the trade. The Sharks head into the stretch run in seventh place in the Western Conference with 71 points. San Jose trails first-place Phoenix by two points in the division race and is just three points ahead of Colorado and Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the conference.
The recent struggles contributed to the need to make the deal. The Sharks allowed 35 goals in the nine games, including nine in 31 power plays for the opposition. San Jose is the third worst penalty killing team in the league this season at 77.4 per cent, a problem that has plagued the team all season.
"We got kicked in the butt pretty good. Now comes an opportunity to reveal your character and how you deal with that. Adding some players I think is important," Wilson said. "Now is time to play the type of hockey we're capable of. Not just what we've shown in spurts."
Wilson hopes these additions plus getting Murray, Marty Havlat and Dominic Moore back from injuries in the coming weeks will give the Sharks the most depth they've had heading into the playoffs. San Jose has gone to the Western Conference finals the past two seasons and is hoping to take that next step this spring.
"Once you put all the pieces in the puzzle in proper roles and add T.J. and Daniel, we like our team a lot," Wilson said. "But it's not how it looks on paper, it's how it performs on ice."
Winnik, who turns 27 next month, is a proven penalty killer who had the second most short-handed ice time for Colorado before the trade. He has five goals and 13 assists in 63 games this season. He has 34 goals and 62 assists in five NHL seasons with Phoenix and Colorado and will be eligible to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Galiardi, 23, has eight goals and six assists this season and is known for his speed as a skater. He has 33 goals and 39 assists in 171 career games with the Avalanche but has struggled recently after being an irritant in the playoff series against the Sharks two years ago.
"There's one thing that has changed since then. I had a lot of confidence back then," said Galiardi, who was hoping for a fresh start with a trade. "This year I haven't had much confidence. If you have a fresh start, you can start new. I talked to Doug Wilson just a little bit ago. The first thing he said is I'd be treated with a lot more respect. I'm looking forward to it."
Galiardi and Winnik are close friends who were meeting for a pre-game meal before being told of the trade. Wilson said he thinks that will help them acclimate to a new team with just 21 games remaining in the regular season.
"You have speed, you have PK ability, you have guys who can create offence in different roles in your lineup," Wilson said. "We know them well. They play hard. They have a little edge to them which we like."
The Avalanche added a physical young forward in McGinn, who was fifth on the Sharks with 12 goals and also had 12 assists. McGinn has 27 goals and 22 assists in 204 career games.
"Jamie McGinn will help our team immediately," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said. "At only 23 years of age, he already has significant NHL experience and will contribute at both ends of the ice. We are also excited to be picking up two young prospects."
Connelly, 22, is in his first year as a pro after helping Minnesota-Duluth win the NCAA title last year. He has 10 goals and 20 assists in 40 games for Worcester in the AHL. Sgarbossa, 19, has 41 goals and 43 assists in 57 games with Sudbury of the OHL.
AP Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.