The San Jose Sharks are going to be fine. Sure they fell short of their goal this offseason, but that cannot diminish what they've been able to get done thus far.
The Sharks made a valiant effort to lure free agent John Tavares to Northern California. In the end, the draw to fulfill a childhood dream was enough to send JT to Toronto.
Let's get this straight, the Sharks really did go "all in" with an offer believed to be as high as $13 million per season. The fact that they fell short is not a black eye to the organization - instead, it speaks more about Tavares and his desire to fulfill a dream of his.
The Sharks were in the running until the very end and that too says more than enough about the organization, which has a reputation for being nothing short of world class. I believe this whole situation made it quite clear that San Jose is a team willing to do what it takes to win and that its players really like playing for them and being a part of the culture.
It was a disappointing result because I believed up until it was announced that Tavares would be a Shark. I felt that San Jose had legit momentum on their side and the pieces were all falling into place. Adding JT would be the final piece to put the team over the hump for the first time.
When it became clear that JT was a no go, Doug Wilson and his team went to work locking up a couple other valuable pieces.
Joe Thornton was re-signed for a team-friendly one-year deal worth $5 million. A significant decrease from what Jumbo took home last season and rightly so. Health is always an issue with the aging vet - this deal ensured that he remains in San Jose where he intends to end his career.
The Sharks also locked down restricted free agent Toma Hertl with a four-year deal. The 24-year-old scored a career-high 22 goals last season and appears headed for even better days ahead.
Having already secured Evander Kane and Logan Couture, the Sharks have put together one heck of a core.
And I do not think Doug Wilson is done. Whether he gets something done or not, I expect him to be active in the trade market - should something present itself
. This is what he said following the Tavares situation...
"Looking forward, we remain in an excellent position to add to our group should the right situation present itself and as I stated a few weeks ago, we're very excited about our team as it stands heading into next season."
Once the dust settled, and the sting of missing out on JT subsided, it became easier to see that San Jose is in a good place and should, once again
, be among the best squads in the Western Conference.
Thanks for reading,