Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blake, Boyle, and Lukowich, oh my!

Its been a little while, so lets catch things up, shall we?

July 3rd, I'm sitting at my computer, and what do I read, but that the San Jose Sharks have signed longtime really old guy Rob Blake. Back in the 60s (or something), Blake was a feared defender, with a strong right-handed slapper and was a threat to lay you out if you weren't paying attention. Back to the present day, Blake is old, still is right-handed, and can lay you out... a nice quilt that he made, because he's really old.

First thought is, ok, this is cool, I think. Rob Blake used to be really good, and can be reasonable, hopefully. At 5 mil a season, its a bit scary should know...suck, but its a risk that Doug Wilson seems to feel is worth taking.

Now, lets move along to July 4th. A day known for fireworks, the Sharks made some explosive noise early in the day, when TSN announced that the Sharks had traded for Dan Boyle from Tampa Bay. When the day was all said and done, the full deal was Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich for Matt Carle, Ty Wishart, and picks in both the 1st and 4th rounds in the 2009 Entry Draft.

Now, first thought here is, man, I hate this deal. I really thought that with Campbell leaving for richer grounds, Matt Carle would get his chance to blossom and turn into the Norris winner everyone was expecting from him. Well, the path is still clear for Carle, however, now it is in Tampa, where he'll be coached by everyone's favorite mullet. Meanwhile, the Sharks get two guys in Boyle and Lukowich that have age and experience to them, as well as not as lengthy a future.

To complete room for remaining players, Craig Rivet was shipped out to Buffalo for a pair of second rounders, one in 09 and the other in 10.

So, in the span of 24 hours, the Sharks blueline went from:




Quick turnaround, eh?

Basically, the Sharks seem poised for the short run, which goes against the philosophy they've employed since the beginning. If they do raise the silver in the next few years, then obviously, it worked, and no one will complain. If they don't get any closer than they currently have (aka, dying in the second round every year), then it'll be indifferent. If they flat out stink, then hey, at least they tried to get better, right? Right?

GO SHARKS (Hooray summer, I suppose)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Free Agency Frenzy

First day of unrestricted free agency is in the books, with a lot of activity to talk about. After Christmas itself, the start of free agency in the NHL is as close to Christmas as you can get. As has been aptly described by the folks over at HF Boards, July 1st for Sharks fans however is as such.

You wake up real early to run downstairs and see the tree, see the milk and cookies, see all the lights and wreaths and mistletoe and whatnot, and then realize, "Oh yeah, I'm Jewish".

The Sharks have never been big free agency players, but these past few years have defined a new low. Doug Wilson is a cautious GM, one who packs his baskets in what is considered an unorthodox style now a days, by spreading out his eggs to several baskets. In order to do this properly, he scouts and drafts real well, keeping his players throughout their development until they blossom at the top level. This means that picking up impact players from trades and free agency is a rarity. Today was just another example. There is time left, however, and a lot of it. Personally, my fingers are still crossed for a defenseman, but I'll settle for the cream of this summer's crop, Marian Hossa.

Today marked new beginnings for most teams in the league, and endings for 3 Sharks. Nate Raduns is now a member of the Boston Bruins, where he will probably play for Providence (AHL). Patrick Rissmiller is a New York Ranger, where he'll... uh... um... do stuff, and Brian "I want to play in the Eastern Conference to be closer to my family because of family illnesses" Campbell ended up in the long time Eastern Conference city of Chicago. (Note: the previous statement was sarcasm and should be read as muffled anger, as Chicago is in the West, and clearly is the best location because of the amount of green he will be rolling in.)

Tomorrow is day 2 of the UFA period, with Hossa, Orpik, and some well known marginal guys who's names that are escaping me right now. (Another note: the latter is what Wilson is best at signing ala Boucher, Ozolinsh, Roenick, and Semenov last year).

GO SHARKS (merry flippin christmas)