September 15th, 2011, 11:54 pm
Lots of stuff happening, with the season drawing nearer, but the Dudes start with injuries, and the deal that didn’t happen- Kyle Wellwood, originally reported as signing with the Sharks, but actually with Winnipeg. Lots of other news with Brad Winchester, young stars, and NHL news. Mike and Doug still have enough time to preview the Atlantic division.
For those of you that want to join one of our fantasy leagues, here is the info. Please only sign up for one league initially, so everyone that wants to play can.
UPDATE: ALL LEAGUES WERE FULL SO A FOURTH LEAGUE HAS BEEN ADDED. WE WILL NEED 10 PLAYERS MINIMUM TO MAKE THE LEAGUE HAPPEN. SEE YOU THERE!
UPDATE: The fourth league is full. That’s it for this year. May the best “dude” win.
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September 7th, 2011, 6:17 pm
Thanks to my main man Bryce, we now have some desktop wallpapers of the Sharks’ 2011-2012 schedule. Four different backgrounds in two sizes. I’m partial to the diamond fin myself.
August 25th, 2011, 10:59 pm
Not much is happening, but the Dudes can pull topics out of their hats like magicians. Plus, there’s a bit of Sharks news.
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August 17th, 2011, 9:42 pm
Not much Sharks news, but the Dudes make their own news with a new friend of the show. Pics enclosed.
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July 13th, 2011, 7:36 pm
WILSON! SIGN US SOME ROLE PLAYERS! WILSON!!!!
Mike’s on vacation so the next podcast will be delayed a few days. Luckily, there’s not much news to talk about since Doug Wilson appears to be out of whoppers for the moment. In the mildly interesting news department, the Sharks resigned RFA John McCarthy to a one year, $525,000 deal and signed former Columbus forward, Andrew Murray, to a one year, two-way deal, no details confirmed. He is a bottom six forward with size and 181 NHL games of experience. It should be noted that when healthy he can throw the body around with 147 hits in the BJ’s 2008-09 playoffs debut. Unfortunately, he missed all four of their playoff losses with a hamstring injury. There’s that little health thing again. He hasn’t played a minute of AHL hockey in four years, and he won’t likely want to ride the bus, so if he’s healthy, Murray might be a guy to keep an eye on in camp to see if he pushes the Sharks young guns (Desjardins, McGinn, McCarthy and Ferriero) for a roster spot.
Also joining the Sharks this week were former Avalanche, Bruin and Predator, Ben Guite, and former Calgary Flame 2005 first round draft pick, Matt Pelech. Both these guys have been plying their trade in the AHL recently and I’m pretty confident they will be looking for an apartment in Worcester. Pelech is an interesting story though. He’s a shutdown defender that in 2009 was hospitalized with a life threatening blood clot in his shoulder. This combined with other injuries led to a disappointing professional run with the Calgary organization, but he got decent marks from Flames Nation in their profile and projection of him in 2010. Did I mention in the useless fact department, he’s also the nephew of Canucks GM, Mike Gillis. I’m not expecting much from Pelech, but he’ll likely gobble up some of Mike Moore’s minutes in Worcester and how will he aid or hinder the development of Dudes on Hockey love child, Nick Petrecki?
In Kyle Wellwood news, Andrew Strickland is reporting that Wellwood can’t even get a single NHL team to pick up the phone and give him a call. Pretty amazing for a guy who likely thought his stock was raised by his admirable performance in Teal after being claimed on waivers. Apparently, Wellwood’s agent was told by a few teams that they might be in touch later, but no one initiated any conversations with Wellwood, according to Strickland. In the words of Larry David, I find that “Pretty…Pretty…Pretty…shocking! Cheryl, do you respect Wood?” If Kent Huskins can drum up business, what gives with Wellwood? Also, at this point, if the Sharks wanted him back, wouldn’t he have pulled a Benjie Molina and come crawling back to DW like Molina did after no one offered him a deal in 2010? I think the cord is cut and Wellwood is using his floaties. 1-800-KHL-KYLE? Ouch.
This week is the Sharks Prospect Camp. If you follow coverage of other teams around the NHL, there is tons of news about their prospect camps, rosters published, coverage of scrimmages and all that great stuff that keeps someone like me entertained over a Blue Moon. Under a cloud of secrecy, the Sharks prospects skate this week with no real media coverage and I can’t find a prospect list published (if you’ve seen it, post it below). All we’ve seen is a quick interview of Tommy Wingels and a profile of how thick Brandon Mashinter’s skull is on the Sharks official website. Such a bummer. Would love to know more about what’s happening there this week.
We’ll kick the tires on all this and more on the next podcast. Please send your questions as we enter the lull of July and we’ll aim to have some more guests before training camp rolls around. Until then, soak up some rays and talk to you soon on tape delay.
July 8th, 2011, 11:55 am
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?
July 3rd, 2011, 9:25 pm
In a move that no one could have predicted, even with a Ouija board (which makes it standard Doug Wilson), the Sharks traded one of the best scorers of the past decade, Dany Heatley, for Minnesota’s top scorer, Martin Havlat.
My initial reaction is that, player for player, this deal is terrible for the Sharks. As I tweeted a few minutes ago, before this admittedly disappointing and sub-par year for Heatley, Havlat’s best season would have been Heatley’s worst. It’s not a trade for value. It’s a trade for a team that’s looking to shed salary.
That being said, this trade happened for one or more of the following reasons:
- The Sharks no longer wanted Heatley around.
- The Sharks needed to shed salary to make room for another signing or trade.
- The Sharks just want to save some cash.
I can’t think of any more reasons than these. If the Sharks wanted Havlat so badly, couldn’t the deal have been made without Heatley being a part of it? After talking with Doug just now, it’s probably a combination of all three. The Sharks have two big players’ contracts up this time next year- Couture and Burns. If you give Burns $5M or so, and you have to pay Couture $3-4M, there’s not a whole lot of room left. By CapGeek’s numbers, that’s 12 players signed, with around $9m in cap room for 9 players. That’s a tight squeeze. If I try to put on my “DW is all-knowing” hat, which I seem to have misplaced, he saw that writing on the wall, saw the opportunity to move an odious contract, and took it, getting a guy that has the kinds of skill that DW thinks the team needs.
July 2nd, 2011, 12:34 pm
Ben Eager signed a three year deal with the Oilers on July 1st. Doubtful Doug Wilson wanted to go for that kind of term with a guy who didn’t exactly earn the trust of the coaching staff during the playoff run. We’ve seen in the past that the Sharks like to have this type of forward on the roster, with the presence of Scott Parker, Brad Staubitz, Jody Shelley, Jamal Mayers and Ben Eager all wearing Teal the past few seasons. The Sharks might decide it’s time to allow prospect Frazer McLaren to handle this 4th line duty, but McLellan hasn’t exactly displayed a ton of confidence in him and he had injury problems last season in Worcester.
My nomination based on the remaining free agents is a resident NHL bad boy, Jarkko Ruutu. He can drop the gloves, he’s a pain in the ***, and he’s not completely lame in terms of skill – he’s actually pretty good in the shoot out. He can kill penalties, he can take penalties. He can bite people (ask Andrew Peters) and he’s usually good for a suspension per season. At 35, he’s on the down slide of his NHL career but can still be effective in his role. He was part of the Penguins team that went to the Stanley Cup in 2008 and played 20 games during that playoff run, so he’s able to stay on the ice (unlike Eager was last year). He has international experience with three Finnish Olympic Teams and played nine games in their 2006 Silver Medal run with Niittymaki in net and six games for the Bronze Medal team in 2010.
Face meet Ruutu's Fist. Ruutu's Fist meet Face.
When the dust settles in a few days, or weeks even, don’t be shocked if Ruutu is in Teal. This would be in addition to adding another 3rd line player to the fold, like a Chimera, Hansen or Langenbrunner (see post below). He has the experience, grit and resume Doug Wilson might admire to fill his annual roster quota.
One year and $750,000 should get it done.
GOTTA LOVE WHEN YOU SPELL JARKKO WRONG AND THEN POST IT. WHEE!
July 1st, 2011, 11:15 pm
Mike bet me a beer that we wouldn’t sign anyone today. Me likey beer.
After reportedly losing out on Maxim Talbot, the Sharks added depth defenseman, Jim Vandermeer, and third line veteran center, Michal Handzus, in what is turning out to be some pretty deliberate tweaks to the Sharks roster this offseason. We’ll break down the additions in more detail on the podcast next week, but this does mean Huskins won’t be back (phew) and that the Sharks realized the need for a legitimate 3rd line center and Handsy has been plying his trade and also putting up decent points in his career.
We wanted a new third line. We’re halfway there. Handzus down the middle with Torrey Mitchell having the ability to play either wing gives Doug Wilson the flexibility to acquire one more impact player. By targeting Talbot, we might have grabbed a glimpse at the type of player he’s after, a physical winger with character, grit and occasional scoring touch. I’ve peaked at the remaining free agents and I don’t really see anyone who fits the bill as an “impact” player. A physical unsung hero to do the dirty work and take some pressure off the top six. Perhaps the best players left in this category are Jamie Langenbrunner, who had a down year in 2010-11, and Owen Nolan, who didn’t play in the league in 2010-11.
I think it’s time for Doug Wilson to do what he does best.
Take advantage of teams in trouble.
We’ve seen Doug Wilson poach good players in bad situations time and time again. Tampa Bay was desperate to move Dan Boyle’s contract under new ownership, we got him for a song. Dany Heatley had Ottawa bent over a barrel and the Sharks waited until Murray caved in. DW nudged Niemi out of Chicago with his offer sheet to Hjalmarsson last summer. He knows how to play this game and after watching some teams spend like loons, he’s waiting for the other salary cap shoe to drop when they need to unload a solid player as a money casualty. Three potential targets off of needy GM’s:
Jason Chimera (Washington) – Chimera was linked to San Jose two years ago when the Sharks were looking to deal Ehrhoff. He has a big shot, he can hit people and has pretty decent speed and size. With Ward and Brouwer in town and the Caps needing to sign a few RFA’s, I think Chimera just lost his job and the Sharks can absorb his one year remaining at 1.875M pretty easily.
Jannik Hansen (Vancouver) – An RFA, we’ve seen Doug Wilson play the villain in this position before. He proved last summer he was not afraid of an offer sheet, especially if it could screw over a rival, so why not throw one Hansen’s way and either force Vancouver into a bad deal or get a good, young 3rd line player. A 3M offer isn’t out of bounds for the 25 year old Hansen. Vancouver would likely match and it would put them in a cap bind the rest of the year. If they didn’t, the Sharks give up a 2nd round pick as compensation, screw the Canucks and a good young player in Hansen. Win, win.
Scott Hartnell (Philly) – This is a monster reach, but the way the Flyers have been going, you never know what they’re thinking out there. The Flyers don’t have much cap space and need to sign RFA Wayne Simmonds, who is their new Scott Hartnell. If we offered Torrey Mitchell and change in return, they would get a useful bottom six winger plus the salary cap relief needed to get Simmonds into the fold. Like I said, a reach – but that’s what blogs are for, right? Hartnell and Handzus together with their mullets flowing in the wind. Beautiful, just beautiful.
We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks…
June 24th, 2011, 7:32 pm
No Tooth. No Shirt. No Problem. I'm Brent Burns baby.
Really quick post. We’ll have more coverage on the podcast next week.
As we do every late-June, Mike and I sit around and watch the NHL Draft and lament how nothing happens for San Jose. There have been some big moves in the last 24 hours and the Sharks just joined the party in a major way. San Jose landed a legitimate top pairing d-man in Brent Burns and a 2012 2nd rounder from Minnesota for Devin Setoguchi, top prospect Charlie Coyle and our 2011 1st round draft pick. A heavy price to pay, but think about it this way, the Sharks just got a player in Burns who led their team in time on ice, 2nd in PK time and 2nd in PP time. He is 6’5, hits, blocks shots and had 46 points last year with 17 goals. If Burns were a UFA on July 1st, he would have been the top rated defensemen on the market, in the Dudes’ opinions.
It should be noted that Todd McLellan coached Burns in the AHL in 2004-05, so he’s clearly familiar with the player and what he can offer. We’ve been begging for a partner for Boyle and we finally got him. It should be noted that with Burns on the team, the Sharks still have 9.5M in cap space (including the bonus cushion) and that’s plenty of room to add two quality 3rd line players on the UFA market, a position that Doug Wilson could be competitive in. I think it’s not too far fetched to expect Doug Wilson to be a major player on July 1st for impact 3rd line players like Maxim Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Marty Reasoner, Scottie Upshall, Eric Belanger, Vernon Fiddler, or John Madden. Form a legit 3rd line that can take our top players to the next level, battle and do the dirty work while chipping in some key goals.
It’s a high price to pay but this could be a big first step for the Sharks 2011-12 run for the Stanley Cup. I’m riding the high. We got a #1 d-man for a 40 point forward, a really good college forward and an unknown prospect.
Have a beer on me. Brent Burns is a Shark kids.