Monday, May 14, 2007

Rumorville

As we mark the one week anniversary of the Sharks playoff demise, life has returned to normal by the Bay. Playoff beards have been shaved. Teal body paint has been painstakingly removed. The jersey has been retired until Fall. But several questions still remain inside the now empty Shark tank and the most popular appears to be - will Ron Wilson return behind the bench next season?

According to the New York Post and Sports Illustrated, Ron Wilson's days may be numbered. While they cite no sources, it is implied that Wilson has lost the ear of his team and of team captain, Patrick Marleau. I agree with their assessment. The Sharks played uninspired hockey in this series. They folded under pressure and did not respond to adversity. They did not defend their home ice, losing two critical games at the Tank with the series on the line. It is hard not to notice teams that seem to play hard for their bench boss, like how the Islanders responded to Ted Nolan with half the talent the Sharks have. Mike Babcock made adjustments and the Wings listened to his passion. Lindy Ruff appears to be a great leader for the Sabres and now he will have to test it to come out of a 2-0 hole to Ottawa. As a former player, Doug Wilson knows the climate of the Sharks locker room. He is determined to build a winner and if there is a better coach for the job, I believe Wilson will pull the trigger on a new coach. The bigger question is - is there another man for the job? It is too bad the Isles snapped up Nolan because I think he would have brought the right inspiration to this team. Who else? Pat Burns? No thanks. Trent Yawney? Mike Kitchen? Claude Julien? Um...no. There is only one name that come to mind that intrigues me. Ed Olczyk.

The Edmonton Journal says they expect the Sharks to move Marleau for a puck moving defensemen and the Sharks might add a different look up front. They suggest sending Marleau to Chicago for Tuomo Ruutu and Brian Seabrook. First of all, Ruutu is a piece of trash cheap shot artist with bad blood history vs. San Jose - Doug Wilson would never make the deal. They suggest Marleau for Mattias Ohlund. I don't think Wilson is going to react so quickly and deal the most popular player in franchise history. If Marleau fetched a premiere defensemen (Ohlund at 31 points in not in that category) the Journal says they would sign a mid level center to replace him, someone in the 3-4 million range. I don't see any of those players on the UFA list. I see expensive 6-7 million dollar centers like Drury, Gomez and Briere and then a big drop off to Robert Lang and Jeff O'Neill. Sharks will stand pat here and ride it out with Marleau - we are strong up the middle with Big Joe, Patty, Pavelski, Brown and Goc. I still think Wilson is going to make a big push for a defensemen in a deep talent pool and he will take a long hard look at Ryan Smyth.

That's all for now Sharksfans. Let us know any thoughts on coaches and other rumors.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

I didn't realize that Tuomo had a history with the Sharks. I know his brother - Jarrko - is world-renowned as cheap.
I can't imagine Patty taking the fall, though. The "learning experience" will be good for their young D.

Mike said...

Tuomo Ruutu did a major headhunt against Kyle McLaren on February 22. I remember watching the the game. The Sharks were up 2, less than a minute left in the game, and the Sharks were controlling the play very well. A dump into the corner, McLaren goes after it, and Ruutu does a major cheapshot, driving McLaren's head into the boards. McLaren down on the ice for quite a while. He could have easily suffered major injury, but luckily, he didn't. Ruutu got a 5 and a 10 for it. Total bush-league hit.