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Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post How to Spend the Moolah: Idea A

July 8th, 2011, 11:55 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

So far, so off the radar this offseason with the additions of Handzus, Vandermeer, Burns and Havlat.

You gotta love how Doug Wilson operates so far off the grid, it keeps us guessing and the next move could come at any moment – or not until February. Who knows? I’ll give Doug Wilson high marks for his efforts this offseason and we know this about our GM – he will not spend the 6.1M in cap space that remains just because it’s there. If a player is available that fits any amount of that space that is on the infamous “Ghost Roster”, he will act quickly. If not, he will wait.

In the past, Doug Wilson has acquired a 3rd line energy forward with fighting ability in Travis Moen and Ben Eager. While Eager’s ability to play on the 3rd line is debatable, Moen has been pretty effective everywhere else other than San Jose in that role of hitting people and chipping in with some goals and rough stuff.

In 2009, the Sharks were linked at the trade deadline with The Beast from the East, Ottawa Senators forward, Chris Neil. He ended up not being traded and signed a contract extension, but with two years left on his deal at 2M per season, he fits my final roster goal of adding a rugged 3rd line winger who will hit anyone and anything. Neil played 80 games last year, finished 6th in the NHL in hits with 258 (Dougie Murray had 203 as a point of hitting reference). Neil played nearly 13 minutes a game and almost all of it came even strength. He has playoff experience during the Senators playoff run in 2006-07 and he didn’t lose his mind like Eager and was able to suit up for all 20 games, playing over 10 minutes in all the Cup Finals tilts.

You can choose to believe the rumor mill or not, but Neil’s name in Teal has come up multiple times, as has Jason Chimera’s (a guy we’ve talked about on the podcast as another potential roster casualty in Washington). Chris Neil would be a real solid addition and complete the Sharks remodeled look on the 3rd line. He’s an intimidating presence, an experienced agitator who has some hockey skill and a great locker room reputation.

What would it take to get him? Ottawa needs young forwards and might be interested in someone like Tommy Wingels, Benn Ferriero or Brandon Mashinter. They aren’t going to win many games this year, so they might want to go for youth and shed Neil’s salary. I think they’d want a young player who could potentially play now, not someone who is two-three years away.

What do you think? Does Chris Neil match what you’d like to see Doug Wilson do next?

Neil-Dog in Teal?

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    17 Comments to “How to Spend the Moolah: Idea A”

    1. Tom says:

      I think the third like needs guys more like Hanzus that can do a bit of everything AND score.

      Now I realize we’ve gone back and forth on this already, but just to be clear – in a best case scenario, Id like 40-50 goals from the 3rd line. If were not going to have a full on scoring third line then, I’d prefer players that can shut down the opposition, play the PK, maybe stir the pot a little AND score 14-20 goals each. 

      If we expect the Sharks to compete for the Stanley Cup, then we have to have these types of guys. We can’t just fill the 3rd-4th lines with big energy physical guys. They need to be responsible for scoring too. 

      For example, some of the guys you mentioned that I think fit that role. 

      Raffi Torres – scored 14 or more goals 5 times in his career. 

      Pascal Dupuis – scored 17 and 18 goals in the last two seasons and has scored 20 once in his career.

      Guys who I think might not fit….

      Chris Neil since 2006-07 hasn’t scored more than 10 goals. 

      Torrey Mitchell (currently on our third line) – has never scored more than 10 – and only scored 10 once. I realize injuries have been huge for Mitchell but my point is the same - I want guys that can do both. 

      Admittedly, I don’t know much about Chris Neil but I’m not sure what he would provide that Frazer Mclaren can’t. And I also realize these type of players don’t grow on trees. Everyone would have Dave Bolland on their team if they could. 

      But my gut says that this is what went into signing Hanzus as well. He’s about a .5 pt/game player over the last 3 seasons. AND lays hits, blocks shots, plays big PK minutes, etc etc… 

      Thats what I’d like to see on the third line. 

      All that said, I think Neil would be more of a 4th line player with us and would be fine with him there. Although 2m might be a bit much.

    2. Matt says:

      He did not loose his mind in the playoff run in 2006-07 but that is basically his move at this point. Dumb penalties like you wouldn’t believe. Trust me, this is Eager 2.0 but with worse hands.

      The only good thing about this signing would be that I wouldn’t have to see him play in Ottawa on a nightly basis.

      • Doug says:

        Hey Matt – do you think Neil is a lost cause or just a product of being on a bad team with a coach in Clouston who had little control over his troops?

        • Matt says:

          Fair question. I wouldn’t say he is a lost cause, but the diminishing returns he seems to provide vs. instances of lunacy certainly do not justify the 2M. It is great that he hits a lot and agitates but it seems like that is his sole motivation. So he has either forgotten what got him his big paycheck (doing those things AND scoring) or he just isn’t able to do it anymore.

          Whatever, if he’s on the Sharks I will probably end up liking him. If he stays with the Sens I will continue to hate him.

          I will probably eradicate any further desire for my feedback by saying that I think DW should try and keep Wellwood.

          • Tom says:

            I’m growing more surprised that we haven’t heard either way on Wellwood…

            And I agree – if it’s between a checker that can’t score or a scorer that can’t check…. I’ll take the goals.

            • Ruben says:

              Same here, would love to see Wellwood-McGinn-Ferriero as a scoring 3rd line, and Mitchell-Handzus-Desjardin as a checking 3rd line, and play the lines as the situation dictates. If you run up against a team with some big meanies on their 3rd line, you can hide Wellwood’s line and roll Handzus. Have some speedsters on the other team’s lower lines? Roll out Wellwood and watch the magic.

    3. Jim G. says:

      in response to why Doug Wilson didn’t just trade for Havlat a few years ago the stumbling block was the 6M salary that Havlat was going to get from Chicago. SJ didn’t have the cap space at the time to fit Havlat onto the roster.
      At least that’s what I think I remember unless I’m misremembering.

    4. Unit_G says:

      Niel would make a GREAT addition to Team Teal. I could definitely picture it. He brings a lot of energy and has a nose for ‘tickling the twine’.

      Ottawa is definitely in rebuilding mode. Anderson will (presumably) continue to give them some good minutes. Lehner, however, is ‘the future’ in Canada’s capital city. Though playing host to the ASG this coming season, Ottawa may be obliged to jockey for draft position/begin stockpiling picks.

      I’d hate to see Ben Ferriero go; but, in the world of “things that COULD happen” . . . we could do worse.

      Can’t help but wonder if The Otters will have a bad taste in their mouth, from our previous dealings.

    5. Jim G. says:

      Neil has got a lot of hard miles on him–he was the enforcer for the last couple of years and he’s not that big.
      He’s now in his 30′s and his cap hit is 2M on Ottawa and even though they are rebuilding the Sens are not even to the cap floor yet so I don’t think they have any intention to move him unless a team is willing to overpay in Draft picks or prospects to get him.

    6. GShark says:

      I think a this point team chemistry will be in danger if DW does another trade that includes a roster player. Cemistry seamed to be good in th POs.
      So the addition of a third liner via UFA would Be ok but there is not much left. I honestly think that Mittchel, Mcginn, Desjardens and Ferriero are in addition to their capabilities importent for the finally working Team chemistry. Burns, Hanzus, Havlat and Vandermeer have to find their place an have to get an injektion of our unfinished business vaccine.

      A Trade tut does

    7. GShark says:

      Sorry for all the bad typing. Was send via iPone and so It was published by accident.

      A trade for such a player is ok in case it only includes picks and
      prospects. Our farm is running out of blood and I am not excately a fan of “try 2 more years and do not care what happens afterwards”.

      Perhaps DW had his hands full of work with his trades and missed out One FA signing

    8. hateseed says:

      They need someone for real. Decent speed (offsets Zues) and 10 goals min, grit preferable yes, but I’m not worried about adding a fighter specifically. Grinder yes, fighter no. On that point though, I wouldn’t mind seeing a deal (trade is required at this point unless something happens with arbitration yes?) of Mitchell and someone else for two wingers to formulate a third line or a 3rd and 4th line guys (bump up one of the kids to third line). I guess I just haven’t loved Michell’s game lately. Maybe he can get it going again with two new partners, I’d rather capitalize on his value though – fast: god yes, gritty… fuck no. If Todd is moving from finesse 3rd to grit 3rd, I don’t see how he works. One of the biggest X factors this year is how well McGinn plays. He needs to channel that speed into better “gritty” plays (Thinking of the two relatively boneheaded 5 min majors in playoffs) and actually score some goals. My understanding is that he is a proven scorer at lower levels.

      With the roster spots as they are, I want to see Zues between McGinn and “X” McGinn obviously won’t cut it unless hes can step up his game though.

    9. Khaaz says:

      Idea B plz.

    10. Eric says:

      What teams are actually in cap trouble? It appears that most teams are in a pretty healthy situation, at least in the short term. Other than signing Miettinen or an outright fleecing by DW, I’m not sure what moves there are to make.

    11. MJ says:

      Eh. Bryan Murray may be old and senile, but do you think he’d take Ferriero, Mashinter or Wingels for Neil?

      I’m guessing he won’t fold for anything less than Torrey Mitchell and some scratch. Is that worth the trade?

      I can part with Mitchell, but not for Neil.

    12. Chris, from Boston says:

      I think a guy like Jay McClement is just what the doctor ordered.

      Does anyone want to see penalty killing like last year ever again?

      He is in the last year of his contract and I bet we could get him from the Avs for cheep.

    13. Ottawa says:

      NEIL is never leaving ottawa to valuable ..

      He puts up bigger numbers than all the young players you mention + he has an invaluable locker room presence for the young kids that are curently in Ottawa’s locker room….

      Coupled with being an Agitator and good enforcer.. He is an all round great hockey player that Anyone would love to have on their team and everyone hates to play against!

      Neil is in Ottawa for good !

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