April 30th, 2012, 8:39 pm
After more than a week to reflect, Mike and Doug don’t have the raw emotion anymore, but the initial reaction still stands. The Dudes talk about the coaching staff, T-Mac, the inevitable Patrick Marleau bashing, and other changes that might take place.
Podcast: Play in new window
March 9th, 2012, 9:25 am
That’s last night’s game, and soon, the title will describe the season. The Sharks cough up another 3rd period lead, decide not to try in an overtime power play, and then cap it by putting Tommy Wingels as the third shooter in the shootout, a guy who has literally never participated in the shootout in his career. I know we were looking for desperation, but to me that means urgency and fire, not grasping at straws.
But I’m going to try and not let my extreme frustration leak over too much into this post, and talk about something that is becoming increasingly obvious- the rift between Doug Wilson and Todd McLellan. Exhibit A is T.J. Galiardi. Only on the Sharks for two weeks now, Galairdi has been scratched once, and played only 2:30 against St. Louis. His average ice time in the other two games was about 11:40, which is far below his average with the Avalanche before he was traded. And Galiardi was, by many reports, on the outs with Joe Sacco in Colorado. So the Avs want to get him out of town, and then trade him to a team that plays him even less than he played before? There’s a disconnect here.
Exhibit B is the penalty kill. DW goes out and gets three guys who can play the kill, because, frankly, the kill has sucked for much of the year. As of this writing, it’s 28th. So we get Daniel Winnik (averaging 2:51 this season on the kill) Dominic Moore (1:50) , and Galiardi (1:06). So who are the big killers last night? Pavelski (1:41), Couture (1:35), and Marleau (1:31). The three PK specialists we got are dwarfed in SH ice time by Andrew Desjardins (1:35). Only Moore played a full shift (0:41), with Winnik, probably the best PKer of the three, playing just 0:14. What is wrong with this picture? Play the #2, #3, and #4 scorer the most on the PK, make the new defensive forwards ride the pine, even when you’ve averaged only 1.9 goals per game over the last 10? It just makes no sense to me.
If the Sharks manage to squeak into the playoffs, all bets are off. But if April brings a Marleau-Roenick tee time, either T-Mac or DW will be gone, and possibly both.
July 18th, 2010, 10:56 am
From Steve Simmons, via Kukla:
We take you now to the front office meeting of the San Jose Sharks, where the determination is made about how to win the Stanley Cup. “I’ve got the answer,” one voice says. “Let’s sign Antero Nittymaki to be our goalie.” There is applause all around. This is, of course, fictional: Or is it? One of the deepest, strongest teams in hockey lost its No. 1 goalie and replaced him with Nittymaki. And this somehow makes them better? There is but one plausible explanation for this: John Ferguson Jr. works for the Sharks. The same man who traded Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft, believed in Justin Pogge and gave up multiple picks for Vesa Toskala. Must be Fergie. Otherwise, can someone please explain what GM Doug Wilson is thinking?
In the immortal words of Will Hunting, that’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Maybe DW was thinking that it wasn’t too smart to sign a goalie with a mid-20s SV% ranking since the lockout to a multi-year deal worth 5 or more million dollars per year. Maybe he was thinking that both the Flyers and the Hawks has unproven goalies that weren’t making a lot of money, and yet both made it to the Stanley Cup. And maybe the scouts (and the GM) were tired of a goalie that made all-world saves in certain situations, but gave up 50-foot wrist shots in others. That a solid, butterfly style for less money is better than an acrobatic style for more money. That the real improvement needs to be made on blueline. Since the trades for Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle happened before JFJ got there, maybe DW is just treating him as another scout- a guy that watches players and evaluates them, making the trade and signing decisions himself. Nittymaki, after all, didn’t play for Toronto, or even in their division. If JFJ really had DW in his pocket, wouldn’t the Sharks have traded for Tim Thomas by now?
July 14th, 2010, 7:38 am
The honeymoon is over- the Blackhawks matched the offer sheet given to Niklas Hjalmarsson. And the Dudes break down where this leaves the Sharks, what other free agents they might target, and the current roster and it’s problems.
Podcast: Play in new window
July 9th, 2010, 10:53 am
That Cup won't buy you any cigarettes up in here, but we'll take that pretty boy you got.
Sorry I haven’t posted lately, as we’ve said in the podcast, I’ve been out of town, and all the semi-interesting UFA stuff happened before I got back. This morning, I get the first juicy news since my illustrious homecoming. The Sharks have signed another difficult-to-spell person that no one expected. This time, it’s a different Scanadavian country, and a different position- the Blackhawks’ Niklas Hjalmarsson was signed to a 4 year, $14M offer sheet, per Bob MacKenzie. Hjalmarsson averaged almost 20 minutes of ice time in the #4 hole, behind Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Brian Campbell. I would be willing to wager (and I imagine DW does too) that Hjalmarsson would not be in that slot for 28 other teams (Philly possibly the only exception). Assuming this is true, let’s look at at Hjalmarsson’s RFA options from his perspective:
- Sign with cash-strapped Chicago for a sizable home town discount, even though they have already lost Kris Versteeg, Brent Sopel, John Madden, and Dustin Byfuglien.
- Get traded by Chicago to a team that offers the best deal to Stan Bowman, which is essentially a crap shoot. Look where Byfuglien ended up.
- Have some control over your future, and sign an offer sheet with a decent team for the kind of money that you are looking for.
Clearly Hjalmarsson chose #3, and who could blame him? Doug Wilson recognized this, and pounced. Now Stan Bowman, Chicago’s GM, is between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, he can retain his excellent young defenseman, but will likely have to trade Patrick Sharp or even more to get under the cap again. On the other hand, he lets NH go (I’m sick of typing Hjalmarsson), gets a 2011 1st 2nd and 3rd round draft pick in return (per TSN), and is in dire need of a #4, #5, and #6 defensemen. The draft picks will soften the blow, but keep in mind they come from the Sharks, which will likely be late round picks. No players are left in the upper twenties that are slam-dunk NHLers. Those picks could easily end up being Matt Pelech and Marc-Andre Gragnani.
This also asks the question- why didn’t the Sharks do this with with Antti Niemi? It’s a good question, but like many, the answer is money. I think that the Sharks only budgeted $2M or so for a goaltender, and Niemi would certainly want more than that. We will find out after Niemi’s salary arbitration.
It’s too early to go into the possible Sharks roster ramifications because Chicago could match the deal, and tomorrow will look just like yesterday. I’d put the chances of that right at 50-50. Could this spark another GM feud like the Brian Burke- Kevin Lowe dustup? Lucky for us, we have the first real taste of drama in the Sharks offseason.
May 26th, 2010, 8:55 pm
Mike and Doug continue the discussion they began on ChompTalk last Sunday, speaking of the Sharks demise at the hands (wings?) of the Hawks, and Philadelphia’s chances to triumph in the finals. But most importantly, the Dudes start the important due diligence of examining each of the actors that may not be back next year, starting with Doug Wilson, Todd McLellan, Patrick Marleau, and Evgeni Nabokov
Podcast: Play in new window
May 25th, 2010, 1:18 pm
Something Doug and I talked about on ChompTalk last Sunday, along with Mark Purdy, is the idea that Doug Wilson may be let go, as his vision for the Sharks winning a Cup didn’t exactly pan out. Could it be that Greg Jamison wants to see a new strategy and philosophy for building a team? I now think the answer is “definitely not.”
First of all, firing a GM in the Sharks’ position should only be done under one condition – you know who is going to replace him. This isn’t a house-on-fire situation, where you gotta ditch the guy as quick as possible to stop the bleeding. The Sharks, despite their playoff disappointments, are not bleeding. Aside from tiny headed hockey pundits, there’s really only one marquee GM candidate, who is now off the market. I’m talking about Steve Yzerman, who signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning today. Yzerman, who put together the gold-medal winning Canadian team this Olympic year, has been biding his time. Even since he retired as a player he’s been getting trained up in various situations, and now was ready to strike and get the job he wanted.
You think it’s a coincidence he waited this long to take the Tampa job? I think not. Based on nothing but dizzying intellect and baseless speculation, Doug and I are betting that Stevie Y took the Sharks’ temperature yesterday, after they were eliminated:
Stevie Y: So, hmm… them Hawks are real bastards huh?
Greg Jamison: You got that right.
Stevie Y: I played on Detroit for a quadrillion years; I’ve eaten the Hawks’ lunch so many times I sh!% deep dish pizza. Any, uh, openings I should know about?
Greg Jamison: Man, that’s a good line! I wish I’d thought of it. But I think we’re going to stick with Wilson. Have fun with Ty Wishart.
Stevie Y: Who???
Unless there’s some below-the-radar magician, Doug Wilson is here to stay. We’re already dreaming up scenarios and plans for the Sharks to execute, and I’m sure DW is doing the same. He has shown the ability to modify the plan if it’s not working, plus the not-to-be-overlooked ability to fleece other GMs in trades. The conjecture season is now in full swing, and we’ll be filling the blogophere (and internet airwaves, such as they are) with enough of that to choke the proverbial horse. Stay tuned. We’re not going anywhere.
February 20th, 2010, 11:21 am
With 24 hours to go before the USA/Canada brawl in Vancouver, my thoughts are still on trade deadline day. As I scrolled through the ESPN rumor mill and noticed the reported price for Predators dman Dan Hamhuis (a scoring forward and a late 1st/early 2nd pick) I began to wonder about the Sharks 2010 draft pick situation and what kind of bullets Doug Wilson had left to fire at deadline day. Here’s the skinny, from what I can tell:
1 – 1st round pick
0 – 2nd round picks (we traded our own to Ottawa for Heatley, we traded Buffalo’s to Carolina for Wallin)
1 – 3rd round pick
0 – 4th round picks (we traded our own to Tampa Bay for Dan Boyle)
2- 5th round picks from Carolina (in Wallin trade) and Ottawa (in Heatley trade). Our own was traded to LA in 2008 to draft junior d-man Samuel Groulx (39 points in 58 games in the QJMHL with two teams)
0 – 6th round picks (we traded ours to Dallas in 2009 so get a 7th round pick to select Marek Viedensky, 46 points in 49 games in the WHL with two teams)
0 – 7th round picks (we traded ours to Buffalo in the Craig Rivet deal)
So, if I’ve done my math right – and that’s a major question mark – the Sharks only have four draft picks currently in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Not good news for a team that’s been criticized for having a lack of quality prospects in their system. So if you’re Doug Wilson, are you willing to trade that 1st round pick to get a Dan Hamhuis or a Tomas Kaberle? It’s got to give one pause…
Like I said yesterday, I’m willing to take the gamble, especially since it’s likely Setoguchi could fetch you that 1st rounder in the offseason if that’s the road you decide to go, but it’s always good to take a hard look at what Doug Wilson has to play with here. He’ll likely balk severely at parting with this first round pick, and it’s entirely possible we could see him sell off someone like Torrey Mitchell for a 2nd rounder if he thinks Jamie McGinn can do the same job – which he probably could.
Major props to Dmitry, our Dudes on Hockey Olympic advocate, proudly wearing his Dudes on Hockey t-shirt around the Vancouver games. We feel the love and Dudes madness is now wilder than Cross Country Skiing.
International hockey flavor. A Russian Dude in Canada wearing an American t-shirt.
January 14th, 2010, 12:19 am
After some disappointing games against key opponents, the Sharks rebound again with strong wins on the road against Los Angeles and Phoenix. But the Dudes still have to break down the loss against the Red Wings. After addressing some listener emails, Mike and Doug do a little roleplay with Doug playing Doug Wilson, and Mike playing other GMs around the league entertaining some trade offers.
Podcast: Play in new window
January 12th, 2010, 2:32 pm
NEW PODCAST THIS WEEK ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
After winning a close one last night in LA and semi-redeeming themselves for laying two eggs on home ice last week, the Sharks might have some fans feeling pretty good. So then why do I fully expect the Coyotes to dump us like Conan O’Brien at an 11:30pm timeslot?
Jay Leno is the Steve Ott of Late Night.
Because this is the Sharks pattern. Up then down. Up then down. Winning two tough back to back games on the road would be a major statement to each other, as teammates, that they are ready for adversity and capable of beating two teams who have given them fits all year long. Last night the Sharks got solid PK work, a hard luck but hard fought performance from their second line, great goaltending from Nabby and two goals from two superstars in Boyle and Heatley. A solid effort against a good team.
Now do it again.
The Coyotes are going to play hard and are extremely well coached by Dave Tippett, but aren’t we one of the best teams in hockey? Don’t we have a Jack Adams nominee for a coach? Then go out there and kick this mediocre team in the Vrbata.
Mike and I have recently questioned Brad Staubitz’s presence on the Sharks roster, and of course he responds with his best game of the season last night, almost tipping in Boyle’s goal in the 1st period – but let’s not get carried away here. McLellan was so impressed that he didn’t play Staubitz for one single second in the third period, while Scott Nichol got seven shifts. There’s a ton of differences between Staubby and Nichol in my book – Nichol is one of the top faceoff men in the entire NHL and one of our best PK’ers. Staubitz is one of the best at taking a penalty. Here’s the thing – if Staubitz didn’t beat the tar out of the hated Tootoo last year, would you even know his name from Dennis McCauley?(BTW, McCauley is an enforcer for the Worcester Sharks…)
Doug Wilson and his staff met last week in Worcester to discuss the organization and was profiled last night at the first intermission. I thought his comments were pretty standard, but his admiration for Couture and his development was evident. He called him “one of the best players in the AHL”. Would it be far fetched to think that Couture could make this same contribution for San Jose in the playoffs, or at the very least, in 2010-11? This could be the most important player to watch come trade deadline, because his presence and success gives the Sharks the option to trade some forward depth to get help on the blueline.