Thanks to everyone who was able to tune in to the radio show last night. We hope to have a replay available for download on the website. The show was a blast, especially our interview with former Sharks player Mark Smith – who was amazingly candid and really entertaining. Great stuff.
One hot topic that we heard from some callers on the radio show has been in line with my final rallying cry to Sharks management. Doug Wilson has to be looking for an upgrade on the blueline. Now, I’m not talking about someone to come in and play a Kent Huskins type #5 role – I’m looking for a guy who can log big minutes, do the dirty works like block shots, kill penalties, dish out big hits – and also not be a total stiff offensively. It’s clear the Sharks 0-2-1 record against the Flames and Hawks is reason for concern, and the main difference between the Sharks and the other two teams are their top four d-men are flat out better than ours. I think Doug Wilson did an outstanding job in the offseason of making a Naughty and Nice list and managed to get rid of the three players currently under contract who were at the top of the Naughty list in Ehrhoff, Michalek and Cheechoo. So, who is next on the Naughty list? I think it has to be Vlasic.
Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray are untouchable. The team has made a commitment to Rob Blake by making him the Captain for this season, and I also suspect for next season – I’m 99.9% sure that there is a handshake, wink/wink, nudge/nudge, say no more agreement between Blake and DW that he is coming back for 2010-11. That leaves Vlasic in a put up or shut up situation, and I think he might be beginning to go silent…So, Doug Wilson should parlay his depth at the forward position and find a guy who can jump in and take this team over the top. Guys like Phaneuf, Shea Weber and Chara are not worth discussing – so I’m going to kick off a new weekly series where I’m going to bring a top four blueliner to your attention and why I think he’d be a good fit for the Sharks and what I think it would cost Doug Wilson to acquire him.
This weeks target:
St. Louis Blues/Barret Jackman
Jackman is a stud and doesn’t get a ton of press because he’s been playing for a bad team that finally broke through and made the playoffs last year. In case you’re not familiar with Jackman, let me introduce you. He is the guy who stands in the net and blocks an empty net slap shot attempt like a human brick wall.
That is a guy willing to do anything to win a game. I doubt Nabby would have to ask him twice to block a shot. Jackman’s resume is impressive, he won the Calder Trophy in 2004 with 19 points and 190 PIM’s, beating that hack Henrik Zetterberg – not bad. After battling early career injury problems, he has responded by playing three full seasons back to back, averaging around 22 points and 86 PIM’s. He represented Canada at the World Juniors twice and was a member of the 2007 IIHF Canadian World Championship team in Russia, playing in all nine games.
This St. Louis blogger believes Jackman can be had, and possibly not for much of a return because of his 3.6M cap hit until 2012. If I were Doug Wilson, I would offer Vlasic straight up and if St. Louis didn’t like that offer, I would keep Vlasic and offer power forward Ryane Clowe. It would kill me to lose Clowe, but I’m not sure it would kill the Sharks. Moving Clowe allows a permanent top six forward slot for either Malhotra or McGinn, and they can certainly get the j-o-b done.
What do you say? Take one more look and tell me you wouldn’t love to see this guy in Teal.
MY OFFICIAL PROPOSAL: I think St. Louis might be looking for a change and the potential to get younger.
To St. Louis: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (signed until firstname.lastname@example.orgM)
To San Jose: Barret Jackman (signed until 2012 @ 3.6M)