Month: April 2012

Retooling the Sharks part 2: tweaking the roster

Time to put the roster under a microscope. Before I do, however, a quick summary of major roster changes leading to and during the season, plus some of the post-season paperwork realities: Key transactions Brent Burns for Devin Setoguchi Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley Free Agent additions: Michal Handzus Brad Winchester Colin White Jim Vandermeer Free Agent Losses Scott Nichol Kent Huskins Jamal Mayers Ben Eager Kyle Wellwood Niclas Wallin Ian White Key trades during the season: Jamie McGinn for Daniel winnik and TJ Galiardi Injuries disclosed at the end of the season:  Couture (shoulder, surgery) Pavelski (foot, injected, thumb and knee ligaments) Burns (ab straing) Ryane Clowe (groin strain) TJ Galliardi (lower back) Michal Handzus (groin strain) Doug Murray (groin strain) Colin White (Shoulder) Tom Wingels (Shoulder) Looking into the offseason Restricted Free Agents: Tom Wingels TJ Galliardi Benn Ferriero Andrew DesJardins Justin Braun Unrestricted Free Agents: Dan Winnik Torrey Mitchell Dominick Moore Brad Winchester Jim Vandermeer Colin White Key no trade clauses: Patrick Marleau Dan Boyle (with a window where it goes on vacation) So, now what? In recent seasons, it seemed that the Sharks top six forwards played well — and the playoff series was lost by substandard play in the third and fourth lines. Fixing the third and fourth lines was a big focus of Doug Wilson and Coach McClellan — just look at the...

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Retooling the sharks part 1: management

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Changing of the guard in Western Conference – ESPN: The Sharks? It’s a little more complicated than Detroit. For starters, they don’t have anything coming off their cap that’s really that noteworthy. The likes of Torrey Mitchell, Dominic Moore and Daniel Winnik are UFAs July 1, but all of the high-paid, core players remain signed. Longtime Shark Patrick Marleau was a huge disappointment in the five-game loss to St. Louis, going pointless. He’s got two more years at $6.9 million a year and a no-trade clause to boot. Martin Havlat had a disappointing, injury-filled year. After scoring twice in Game 1, he was barely noticeable in the rest of the series. He’s got three more years at $5 million per season. Defenseman Brent Burns didn’t have the impact this season the Sharks had hoped they were getting after dealing for him last summer. He’s got five more years at $5.76 million per season. The decisions won’t be easy for GM Doug Wilson. But this team needs a core shakeup. Aside from Joe Thornton (who was easily San Jose’s best player against the Blues), Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe and Dan Boyle, I’d be ready to trade almost anyone else on this roster. Easier said than done, of course. But Wilson has a track record of making bold moves. He’s not scared of change. He spoke with...

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And the Sharks go golfing….

 Trying to put this loss in context. It didn’t hit me as hard as some years, because I fully expected it, but still, this Sharks team shouldn’t be going out in the first round. Dave Pollak at the Merc has an interesting perspective: Aftermath of a record-early elimination: Sharks waiting till Tuesday to pack things up for the season | Working the Corners: Five games. Every other first-round exit lasted six. Until Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, who won their first playoff series since 2002. Think about that for a second. Since St. Louis last won a series, the Sharks — a franchise 25 years younger — have won nine. That isn’t a defense of the team’s management in the wake of a very disappointing 2011-12 season. Just a statement of fact to put things in context. The reality is, every year one team wins the Stanley Cup and twenty-nine do not. the Sharks are in their twenties, but if you stop and think about it, if the Cup were rotated to each team one per year (like the All-Star game is), the Sharks wouldn’t have had their time with it. Objectively, there’s still a few years to go before they are “late” to the Cup.  Sports and sports fandom, however, are not objective things. That’s not how fans think. Nor should they. So when...

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Making Sense of the Playoffs, the story so far edition

The Sharks played the best game of the playoffs tonight in game 4 — and still lost. The Sharks broadcasters tried to put what positive spin they could on it, but this is not the time of year for moral victories, and you don’t get an extra game in the series for a well-played loss. You lose. It was good to see Marleau back at center. My suggestion to coach McLellan: leave him there. it leverages his speed, and it gets him in the game, and I always feel he’s more effective there than at wing. I won’t complain about Niemi — he’s been doing his part. is it enough? no. Is it his fault? no. Down 3-1, the reality is that the Blues are a better team than the Sharks, or at least as they match up, the Blues can control the game and keep the Sharks from playing Sharks hockey. And their goaltending has been lights out, even the goalie who’s lights went out for a bit. San Jose might take this five, but the Blues are moving on, and deserve to. The Sharks are going down fighting, and i’ll give them that, but they’re still going to lose this series. At least game 4 was a lot of fun to watch. One of the nice things about not having playoff tickets is we can sit home...

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Making sense of the playoffs, the suspension edition

KuklasKorner : KK Hockey : What Is The Difference Between Perception And Misperception?: This was a sin so egregious Shanahan, the NHL senior vice president of player safety, will have no choice but to act swiftly to suspend Torres, right Commissioner Bettman? “You’re asking me to prejudge something,’’ Bettman answered. “I’m certain it was observed by hockey operations and in particular player safety and to the extent it requires review or action, they will do it. But let’s not jump the gun.’‘ Bettman believes too many people have done just that during an ugly postseason when the quantity of scuffles has overshadowed the quality of play. Where I see a dangerous trend, Bettman sees tradition, citing the rough-and-tumble game he heard old-timers reminiscing about on the radio. “A lot of it is perception and misperception,’’ Bettman said. “The game is physical, the game is emotional. These games are hard-fought. Having said that, I’d say player safety is monitored closely and being dealt with in an appropriate way.’‘ When I mentioned that the league had been inconsistent with penalties — contrasting Shaw’s three-game suspension with Predators defenseman Shea Weber’s $2,500 fine for slamming Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass — Bettman scoffed. And so the winter of discontent continues. No, it’s more the winter of “oh my god, what the hell is going on?” I’ve been, frankly,...

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