Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Doug Wilson interview

Here's the link. Make sure to read Grier's post first. Here's a good quote from Doug: "Sometimes you have to go out and get better players, and sometimes you have to make your players better." Given the emphasis he places on Detroit and Ottawa's ability to break through after a couple of tough years, it seems clear his effort will be on making the most of the current group. There will not be a fire sale.

One thing that struck me is that Wilson said if you grade each of the individuals on the team, the median grade was a C+. I never really thought of it like that before, but he's right. Some players, and he mentioned Grier and Vlasic, played 'A' hockey. Clearly above expectations. Wilson said Joe played B hockey, but I would probably be more charitable than that. I would find it hard to grade a 110+ point year as a B. But there are several players that did not have good years. Bell is the obvious choice there. Bernier is another.

Given how well Nabby played and his salary (and NTC), I have to think that the goaltender deal that Wilson all but guaranteed will be Toskala. The question is, what sort of thing will Wilson be looking for in return? Wilson cannot mention certain players by name before the unrestricted free agency period begins on July 1, but I was suprised that he didn't even hint about looking for a certain type of player. A puck-moving defenseman. A locker room leader. The sorts of players Grier and I have been talking about the last few posts.

Wilson also didn't commit on Ron Wilson returning, but the way he spoke of it, I would bet 4-1 that Ron will be back. One of the radio guys mentioned that Ron Wilson does not really seem to blame himself in press conferences, but Doug said that all the players and coaches have taken responsibility for this year's results. Given those comments, the dearth of good coaches available now, and the length of Ron Wilson's contract, I will be very surprised if he does not return.

It was weird how they asked the GM about Marty McSorely, a broadcaster, and Doug seemed a little miffed by the question. But he clearly knows what's going on, maybe not all of the details. From the few words that were said, it seems McSorely will not be back. I wonder what the hell happened, and if we'll ever get the story.


Jeremy said...

That median grade really is surprising. I suppose if you're grading based on expectations, then maybe. But a team that was, arguably, the second best in the West during the regular season having a median grade of C+ makes you wonder how much it would take to get an A - 150 pts from Joe?, 45 wins from Nabby?, fewer than 3 turnovers per game from Gorges?

I'd expect the team to remain basically intact. And compete for top dog in the West again next year. (Good luck with Vancouver in the '08 playoffs, though)

Mike said...

In the context of the interview, I think his grading was based on expectations. I don't think he was saying the Sharks consist of a bunch of middling players- I think he was saying the Sharks have very good players that did not play up anywhere close to their potential.