Saturday, July 5, 2008

Busy Day in San Jose

I'm having a difficult time deciding exactly how I feel about the moves made by the San Jose Sharks yesterday where first they acquired Dan Boyle from Tampa Bay and then traded Craig Rivet to Buffalo.

As writing about something often helps me gain clarity in my thinking (which may still not agree with that of others), let's take a look here at things to see if any conclusions can be drawn.

Sharks offseason... as the NHL world turns:

1. San Jose exited a disappointing 2008 playoff season knowing that their 2009 playoff campaign would likely require the services of a puck-moving defensemen very similar in ilk to Brian Campbell... an excellent player, but one who the Sharks had in the playoffs and wasn't enough to win. This doesn't put the blame of the postseason on Campbell, but merely points out that he wasn't a magic elixir.

2. Free agency started July 1 and the madness ensued. As Mike Chen details in his blog, the $s being thrown at marginal players (Jeff Finger to Toronto) was nutty, and the $ going to the good ones (Brian Campbell to Chicago) was even more off the deep end. The Sharks sat out the first day or two, and then made their first move with a one-year, $5M agreement with defenseman Rob Blake.

3. Yesterday rolled around and things really started to happen. First, the aforementioned Dan Boyle came to San Jose along with fellow blueliner Brad Lukowich in exchange for Matt Carle, former first round pick Ty Wishart and draft picks. Whilst I was happy to get Boyle based on his reputation as that much-desired puck moving defenseman, I was chagrined about both the 6 year, $40M contract Boyle comes with and the inclusion of Wishart in the package. While I think he could have cut the Sharks a bit more slack, Scott Burside of details the Sharks letting go of young assets in attempts to win now.

4. Thinking that the next move would be a trade for draft picks, and hoping it would be Kyle McLaren, but wondering about Milan Michalek, the Sharks then proved my guess correct with a trade of Rivet to Buffalo for two picks.

So... all is said and done, Rivet and Carle are gone and replaced by Boyle and Lukowich. Additionally, a future as well as former first round pick are gone and replaced by two second rounders.

The current NHL player switch is definitely a good one for the Sharks and in reality, the potential NHL player switch may not be a bad one. When you consider that the Sabres second round selection may not be that far off from where the Sharks would draft in the first round (hopefully), things become more palatible.

Additionally, I wouldn't be surprised to see another salary dump/draft pick acquisition with either McLaren, Michalek or even Christian Erhoff involved.

Either way, the Sharks are a better team now than they were two days ago and I've got confidence in GM Doug Wilson that he'll continue the current path of looking to win now, but will also work to keep the pipeline of draft picks and young players flowing in the future.

There... I've decided, I like the moves. So, there's that!

No comments: