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No News Is Good News for San Jose Sharks

July 22, 2014, 12:48 PM ET [39 Comments]
Franklin Steele
San Jose Sharks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
By now we all know the rebuild comments that general manager Doug Wilson made verbatim. We've analyzed and overanalyzed the moves that the San Jose Sharks could make, have made and could be contemplating for the future to the point of borderline insanity (that's not just me, is it?) over the last three or so months.

Almost to the point where I get Depeche Mode stuck in my head each time I think about the team.

Enjoy the Silence indeed.

For some teams around the NHL, lack of motion this summer has been a bad thing. The Detroit Red Wings fanbase is mildly freaked out by the fact that no big free agents wanted to go to the Motor City, while the Boston Bruins are scrambling to find a top-line right wing.

Signing John Scott and keeping Mike Brown—presumably because of his mustache—weren't smart moves, but they aren't the kind of actions that can derail a team in early October either. When you boil everything down, the Sharks have had a low-impact offseason, which may or may not be a good thing depending on what you think of Thornton and Marleau are the core components of the franchise.

Even if you desire to see one or the other (or both) shipped out, you have to be glad that Wilson didn't make any knee-jerk choices that will harm the franchise for years to come. He went out and signed some questionable help to be sure, but there were at least 25 contracts worse than the on that Scott received to be a nuclear deterrent for Dustin Brown. Outside of a few small-time additions, this is largely the same team that compiled 111 points during the regular seasons before... well...

Instead of decimating the core of a squad that's close to being able to compete for a Stanley Cup, cooler heads have seemingly prevailed in San Jose. They didn't brutally overpay any one of their restricted free agents, avoided possible drama by inking them prior to arbitration and they didn't offer Jarome Iginla a four-year deal like the New York Islanders reportedly did.

That's positive, even if you don't like the Thornton/Marleau combo up front for the Sharks.

For now, the opening night roster appears mostly intact. There will be some battles in training camp to lockdown a spot or two, but we know what the top line will look like and can make some educated guesses about the blue line.

If Wilson is going to address anything this offseason, if should be on defense. Dan Boyle was getting up there in years but he was still a great skater and a smooth passer. The Red Wings lost a similar player in Brian Rafalski a few years ago and haven't looked the same since. The Sharks could run into similar transition problems, but they still boast Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic as cornerstones. The second pairing could use some help, but again, Wilson didn't overpay a free agent to fill the gap and hasn't jumped the gun on any potential deal involving "Jumbo."

The biggest change for the 2014-15 season might be purely philosophical. May 1 will hang over the heads of every player all season long. Blown 3-0 series leads don't fade over a long summer. It's almost worse than losing in the Stanley Cup Final. At least in that situation you can tell yourself you made it through three rounds. San Jose collapsed, and everyone knows it.

Still, Wilson's done a good job tampering his anger and not allowing it to cloud his judgement. If you're looking backwards there's plenty to be upset about, but the 2014-15 campaign is still a promising one for a team that won 51 games last year.
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