Sunday, April 22, 2012
Thanks For Coming Out, San Jose Sharks
There was a time where every year, people thought the San Jose Sharks had what it needed to win the Stanley Cup. And it's not just there, there's been plenty others before them. Even so, the Sharks again have underachieved this season, falling short of their goal and look ahead to a long summer in the Bay.
With this latest early exit, the clock has to be ticking for Doug Wilson and Todd McLellan. Wilson, for sure, will be on the hot seat, as he has been with the team for years and while coming close to the Finals a couple of times-- never reached it. His message to ownership may be getting stale, which could mean a regime change for the Sharks.
This is also a team that has too much money wrapped up in too few players, having over $55M wrapped up in only 14 players. While some of their young guns are RFA in the summer, the odds of the Sharks trying to move Patrick Marleau will be high this off-season. Sure, Marleau does have a no-movement clause, but you have to wonder if there's going to be much convincing needed for him to maybe lift it and move elsewhere. Joe Thornton won't go anywhere and it seems Martin Havlat has been poisonous with moving every off-season, which could mean teams aren't going to fall for it anymore....but a sucker is born every minute.
Even with goaltender Antti Niemi back there, the Sharks weren't able to summon the magic he had back in the 2010 playoffs. Even still, Niemi played a decent regular season-- helping a pretty mediocre 7th spot, while also making sure he was the main guy by pretty much running Antero Niittymaki out of town. This is Niemi's team and he really doesn't have anyone to blame but himself if there are short-comings in net.
At the end of the day, the Sharks are just being the Sharks. Much like other teams with high expectations in the pre-season, the results are less than to be desired. This is a season to forget for the Sharks and could start their possible downfall, but a new man at the helm could possible end this tailspin and right this ship.