By a round of applause how many Sharks fans are happy with the work done this summer ? I know some people like to see trades and big UFA signings just to see something change. I myself am not a fan of doing something just to do something.A good example is to look at the San Francisco Giants. They did just that and signed Barry Zito to a ludacris $126 million contract and look what happened. Wow , what a mistake ! Now the club has a ton of money wrapped up in a guy who is not worth it and will be nearly impossible to trade away.
This is why I like Doug Wilson. He never does things just to do them. The Sharks organization has prided itself on building from within. If you take a look at this roster you will see it made up of mainly players whom they drafted. Milan Michalek, Steve Bernier, Matt Carle, and Joe Pavelski were all taken in the 2003 draft and are all star players on this team. Ryan Clowe and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were taken in the 2005 draft and both play significant rolesin the line-up. Let's quickly take a look at the team ......I wont break down every player , just simply make a list to be brief....
Joe Thornton , Patrick Marleau , Joe Pavelski , Curtis Brown , Marcel Goc , Patrick Rissmiller..
At the Wings..
Milan Michalek , Steve Bernier , Jonathan Cheechoo , Ryan Clowe , Mike Grier , and Devin Setoguchi..
Kyle McLaren , Christian Erhoff , Craig Rivet , Matt Carle , Marc-Edouard Vlasic , Alexi Semenov , Douglas Murray , and Rob Davison..
Evgeni Nabokov , Dimitri Patzold , Thomas Greiss , Taylor Dakers
Not too bad. I do think they could add some depth at the wings. Defensively I really do not think they are as bad as some would make it out to be. Up the middle looks very good.With Thornton arguably the best playmaker in the league rounded out by Curtis Brown one of the best PK guys in the league.
Now in net it seems a little incomplete , with Nabokov the only of the four with NHL experience. Patzold and Greiss are both quality goalies. They have yet to see an NHL shot so some say they are not ready. Hey nobody thought Toskala was ready either , look at him now. Taylor Dakerswill probably have the most promising career of the 3. He had a great season in Kootenay last year. I have said this before and I'll say it again , Taylor Dakers will be starting in San Jose in the near future.
The players lost this summer left a couple of holes. In my opinion the most significant is the back-up goalie hole. It will most likely be taken care of by one of the three I mentioned earlier. Scott Hannan was also a significant loss but with the play of the young defensemen and the resigning of Craig Rivet I think the defense will be strong. Mark Bell never worked out as expected and midway through the season found himself a healthy scratch for many games. His role has been fillied already. Bill Guerin was brought in at the trade deadline to add some veteran experiance heading into the playoffs. His leaving is not so significant being San Jose got to where they were long before he ever arrived.
My personal evaluation is that this team will be as good as last year and probably a little better. If Patrick Marleau is traded away Joe Pavelski is ready to step up and be a #2 center. I think Patty will be around till the deadine at least.
There is a lot to be excited about this season. Fans should not be so frustrated and concerned. With players like Michalek , Clowe , and Pavelski about to have huge years there is nothing to lose sleep over. So sit back , relax , and enjoy the 07-08 season !