Today’s Recap and How it Could Affect the Sharks (Speculation)

So today’s news doesn’t directly concern the Sharks (unless you care that Seto is going to fly with the Blue Angels)… but there are some recent deals and news that could potentially contribute to DW’s next move.

In the least related news, Hossa’s shoulder is injured and may require surgery.

In what might potentially be relevant:

  • The Heatley acquisition is probably not going to happen (nothing has really changed, but to make this realistic the Sharks would probably have to shave Nabby’s and Marleau’s contracts). It is still possible with two recent acquisitions from teams rumored to be involved in the three way trade.
  • Plekanec was recently signed to a surprisingly short, one-year $2.5 deal, which hints that he was acquired purely for trade purposes (signs do point to the Sharks) as a potential Michalek or Marleau replacement. Another potential Marleau replacement could be Patrick Sharp, as there have been trade rumors regarding San Jose and Chicago. Once again, I would rather keep Marleau over any of the rumored acquisitions. One slightly worse playoff (still one of the top performers) and a disappointing upset does not negate years of incredible service and play.
  • DW has, in the past, attempted a deal for Halak (last year marked his most serious effort, but fell through as Montreal asked too much in return). If Nabokov (my personal nominee to be traded) were to go, Halak or Price would be adequate acquisitions (although assuming he could learn to cross his legs and close the five-hole, I would take Nabokov’s prior, consistent play over either).

The captain dilemma is still in full swing. In case you didn’t read the article recently posted on the Shark’s website, here is an excerpt:

“Ninety percent of the goals are scored within four to five feet of the net and there is some beauty in the ugliness of it all,” said Wilson. “It’s finding a way. It’s a guy that plays at both ends of the rink. Does the little thing that most people don’t notice. He could care less about the stats, he cares about his teammates respect. And when he goes off the ice at the end of the game he can look in the mirror and say, ‘I left it all out there.’ You know, Joe Pavelski is that type of player, Torrey Mitchell is that type of player, Dan Boyle is that type of player. A lot of our players have it in them. I don’t want to hear about, well, ‘this is what I’m going to do.’ If it’s in you, show it.”

Three names mentioned are, as you can see, Pavelski, Mitchell and Boyle. It is hard to say who would actually receive the ‘C’ or an ‘A;’ Boyle is a star but new to the team. Pavelski has been here for a while and really flourished, but is he ready? And Mitchell is too inexperienced to really wear it over a $5 million + player. Regardless, we fans will have to wait and see.

I have submitted the research on playoff team composition to an old professor so he can check my statistical analysis, and assuming all checks out, I will have it posted ASAP. Regardless, there is an irrefutable link between the number of players drafted and developed within an organization and post season success—one more reason to keep Marleau, and maybe even Nabby after all his work with Sterlow.

Finally, I will be in Texas until Sunday. I will try to continue to monitor any progress in the league (although internet access might be difficult to come by). If anything important surfaces, I will do my best to update this post. Thanks everyone for reading!

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~ by mitchsolomon on July 22, 2009.

4 Responses to “Today’s Recap and How it Could Affect the Sharks (Speculation)”

  1. One year signings are increasing. It is the uncertainty regarding the gap and GMs “keeping their powder dry”. Don’t take one-year deals as anything more than that. See Grebeshkov and MacArthur as similar examples.

    Plekanec has a worse track record than Michalek in the playoffs. I doubt Plekanec is a target of DW, especially at his contract price. Sharp might be, but Chicago is in no position to take back long or high dollar contracts.

    Halak is a better version of Toskala. He is not and will not be an elite goaltender. He may be a serviceable #1.

    On captaincy, watch out on the speculation. Despite DWs statements, there is a lot of indirect stuff pointing elsewhere. Don’t be surprised to see Marleau retain the C for one more year. And just for an exercise, check the goals scored by the Sharks against the Ducks in the playoffs. If memory serves, Marleau was the one who was in close.

  2. All very good points (as always Easy). With the recent dryness in terms of Sharks news, most points were mere speculation as to what could possibly affect the Sharks (based on rumored trade partners, length of deals, etc.).

    Halak would fill the competition role that many believe Toskala provided (and resulted in Nabby’s best recent season). But two goalies at those salaries is pretty absurd, especially with the expected cap reduction next year. I do think Halak could be a decent goalie on a winning team, just not a cup team (which is where this organization needs to end up).

    Captaincy is confirmed as up in the air right now, hence DW’s quote. I too believe Marleau could easily retain the C, but this was mere examination of the names listed. As I recognized in the post, there are obvious drawbacks to each player listed, other than that they are irrefutably hard workers. I’ll try to be more clear in the future. Thanks!

  3. PS Any thoughts on restoring the rotating C? Could be what the team needs to keep players working hard (although I find it hard to imagine rotating the captaincy in the playoffs, which is where weaknesses really showed through, at least relative to the stellar regular season).

  4. Rotating won’t make the players work harder. It is usually to give the coach more authority. Or, for a very young team. It is very unusual for a vet team.

    With all of the above, the Sharks might do it. The clear indication is that management is going to be more controlling, both DW and McLellan. Many think that teams are run like businesses with the top position governing the next and the next governing the position below it. Part of having guaranteed contracts in the NHL is that there is more authority in the players. A lot of teams are run by their veteran corps, not the coaches, not the GM. Look for teams with a high turnover of coaches.

    The Sharks have an interesting history on player relations and the moves over the summer will be very indicative of their direction. IMO, the statements so far say that DW may be going from the frying pan to the fire, trying to control the players.

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