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San Jose Sharks

Sharks Fans - Do You Trust Doug Wilson?

San Jose SharksBack in the 80’s the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons built very different kinds of football teams. The Rams had the traditionally balanced team, the Saints tried to dominate on defense and the Falcons ran the offense-minded ‘Run & Shoot’. Although they were all trying to win in the National Football League, the rumor was that they were also focused on second, but just as important, goal - build a team that could beat the San Francisco 49ers.

Throughout the years many of those teams - mostly by the Saints and Rams, were said to have been of Super Bowl caliber. The problem was that they were in the same division as the 49ers and if you couldn’t get past the 49ers, then you couldn’t get to the Super Bowl.

Before last season began many predicted which two teams would end up in the Stanley Cup Finals. Even though the Philadelphia Flyers barely made it to the playoffs on the last game of the season, and even though they went through 4 goalie changes, they were the team predicted by many to represent the East in the Finals. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how they got there - they got there - as predicted. The Chicago Blackhawks were predicted to represent the West and, well - they did, in fine fashion.

One great thing about NHL Home Ice is you get to hear unedited interviews with NHL general managers. They are actually quite dry but you get a real good sense for just how little is left to chance in the NHL. My point here is that I don’t feel like ‘fate’ and ‘luck’ play as important a part in sports as one might think. Hockey General Managers are very aware of everything that’s going on in the league and they probably make more ‘calculated moves’ than take ‘calculated risk’.

Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks photographed during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 27, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks General Manager
Doug Wilson

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in an interview last night that he had his eye on Antero Niittymaki for a month, that he was the goalie they wanted from the start. Since nothing happens by accident when it comes to a multi-million dollar industry, Wilson probably had an agreement in place with Niittymaki before July 1.

So what’s the point? Many people I spoke to are a little disappointed with the Niittymaki acquisition, and some are upset with the Niclas Wallin resigning. But if you look at the landscape of the NHL today, who do you need to beat? The Blackhawks have been dismantled as predicted, and unlike last year when you knew they were the team to beat in the West, who is the team to beat this year?

And say what you want about Wallin and the Sharks defense, we were the top seed in the West and we did get to the conference finals. If you were to look at the team today and compare it to the rest of the NHL landscape, do you think on paper any other team stands out as being that much better than the rest?

As of right now (according to nhlnumbers.com) the Sharks have $7M+ of cap space, some nice breathing room when you consider the quality (and cost) of our Top-6 forwards.

Brian Burke, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, says it best. In summary, he says a lot of people think you have to make the some kind of big move on July 1. He believes such thinking drives prices up and gets teams locked into unfavorable situations in the long run. I think getting Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski signed were just as important as any free agent acquisitions, and getting a known commodity in net may take the pressure off any ‘rash’ decision making.

This new 2010-2011 Sharks team might not feel like it’s good enough compared to last season but it might be good enough compared to the competition for the upcoming season. Maybe that is how Doug Wilson operates, and we won’t know the results for another 10 months.

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Discussion

3 comments for “Sharks Fans - Do You Trust Doug Wilson?”

  1. I trust Wilson, and think that overall he has done a fine job as GM. I am skeptically optimistic about the Wallin contract–part of me hopes we kept him so that we can trade him away. I am not part of the chicken little sky is falling crowd because as Wilson is fond of saying, the team is not complete until the trade deadline has come and gone.

    Posted by unrulytravllerNo Gravatar | July 3, 2010, 1:51 am
  2. After this: http://www.fearthefin.com/2010/7/15/1571658/san-jose-san-jose-sharks-executive#comments I might have to retract my previous statement, unless DW is going to try and use this kid as trade bait. Also, I have a question (one nobody can answer), what the hell is up with the Seto situation?

    Posted by unrulytravllerNo Gravatar | July 15, 2010, 3:33 pm
  3. We’re all wondering about Seto… One thing that keeps me hopeful is keeping in mind that last season Manny Malholtra was a late summer signing - and we all know how well that worked out. When it comes to free agency, it’s all about patience.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | July 15, 2010, 3:46 pm

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