My emotions for this team are all over the map. I hope, I wish, I watch, yet, nothing seems to change. We come into the season with the same expectations. We want a championship... right on; so do the other 29 teams. What we need is an answer, some sign of willingness from this organization that they will do what is necessary to put us over the top.
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After yesterday, my patience boiled over. Name after name was signed, and all that I am reminded of is Doug Wilson saying, "We were close, but in the end it just didn't work out." Isn't that gross? Does that make you feel as sick as I do? Why didn't it work out? Are you taking the extra effort and initiative to bring these players on board? Probably not, because we have an ownership group that spends about as much money as my 2 dogs.
I know a couple people in the Sharks organization that are in contact with the front office and executives that manage this team. Last night, I couldn't take it anymore, and I phoned them asking for Doug Wilson's contact information, most importantly, his email address. They obliged, and this is what transpired:
Dear Mr. Wilson,
First off, I would like to thank you for your continued effort in bringing a championship to the city of San Jose. I know you are making due with what you have to work with, and it comforts me knowing that we have a staff in place that is willing to do whatever is necessary to help this team win.
However, on this note, I must express some of my feelings as a loyal fan for the 17+ years of the Sharks' existence, as well as the feelings I know for a fact are being described throughout the fanbase you strive so hard to please. I am upset with the unwillingness of the corporation to spend the necessary money to achieve our goals not as a team or franchise, but as a city. The city of San Jose is dying for a championship, yet, year after year we have the same results: incredible regular season, followed by lackluster, uninspiring, inconsistent play in the playoffs. I understand that you look at the team and see where improvements need to be made, and you have demonstrated over the past few years that you are willing to spend big at the trade deadline in hopes of finding the perfect player to mesh with our team and put them over the edge of the so-called Second Round. Why the trade deadline? Why sacrifice a young player and more often than not a high draft pick for a marquee player going into free agency at the end of the season? I am of course referring to Brian Campbell, but if we look further down the line, we see Bill Guerin and a select-few other deals that have only led to use losing those young players/prospects and our draft picks. This leads me to my point. Why not spend the money (which is another point I will make, I promise you) during the offseason to bring in that same marquee player, so as to not overpay for him at the deadline? The fanbase knows that there have been deals on the table for several excellent players in years past, yet we have always "come up short". I'm tired of coming up short. This attitude translates to the playoffs; need I remind you the past 3 years where we have also "come up short". Stop settling for mediocrity and get rid of the mindset that "coming up short" is ok because there is always next season. Why not go for it? Why leave $10+ million off the payroll? So management and the ownership can make money? You have no idea how much more money you'd make if you actually spent up to the cap, took a risk in the process, and in turn brought the Stanley Cup to San Jose. Discontinue the trend of exiting early in the playoffs and raising the ticket prices for the next season. I'm not even a season-ticket holder and I feel terrible for the most loyal of fans.
I know you probably won't be able to answer most of these questions for me, and for that, I understand. But I seriously doubt you read the websites, blogs, and forums that Sharks fans consistently contribute to. We all feel the same way. We have faith in you, in Sharks management, that a championship team will soon come to fruition. However, what we see when we look at that large amount of money sitting aside, not being used, is the unwillingness to do what is necessary. Sharks management preaches about championships and high-caliber teams. Can we finally, please, just get a straight answer or the truth? Do you really want a championship? Or are you happy with the mediocre finishes and the mediocre revenue and profit that is being gained by raising ticket prices? Again, need I remind you that you would make more money than you ever have before if you were willing to spend up to the cap and actually win the Stanley Cup? A habit of yours is to compare us with the most recent Stanley Cup winner; they are, after all, the champions of the league and I understand this. I realize Detroit only spend $2+ million more than us last year. But, please, don't compare us to Detroit. We are the San Jose Sharks. When will the time come where we form our own identity?
Rid yourself of the mediocre mindset, and take a risk. That's all we as fans ask.
I realize he probably won't respond, like I wrote above. All I care about is that he gets this message, I could care less if he responds. Maybe I shouldn't expect him to. Afterall, this wouldn't be the first time that my expectations were set too high.
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