Monday, July 02, 2007

Don't push the panic button....yet...

Sharks fans have watched almost 48 hours tick by without seeing Doug Wilson dip into the unrestricted free agent market to improve upon last years team that fell short of said goal - Winning Lord Stanley's Cup. I had high hopes for July 1st after how aggressive Wilson was at the NHL draft last week. He made cap room and solved two huge roster problems by getting rid of Toskala before there was a real problem in training camp and dealing Bell, who was just a waste of roster space at this point. He got two promising young players to add to the Sharks already excellent depth of young talent. He promised to be active. Doug? Where are you?

He took care of the most important matter by getting Joe Thornton before he hit the UFA market next offseason. Joe gave a hometown discount, a steal for 7.2 million a year, especially seeing Drury, Gomez and Briere get the same kind of cash without nearly the same resume as Big Joe. We had all read the rumors, Sharks were a lock to get Drury. Well, when the price kept going up and up and up, I can't blame Doug Wilson for jumping ship. Having Drury, Marleau and Thornton makes zero sense - we needed an impact winger, which is why it is disappointing the Sharks couldn't land Smyth. I guess a call from Joe Sakic made all the difference. According to reports, the Sharks were never really in the hunt, they made an offer but Ryan was deciding between Toronto, the Isles (who really got screwed yesterday by losing Poti, Smyth, Blake and all their dignity) and the Avs. So now, we sit and wait as all the other middle of the road UFA's go off the board. One big name remains. One name that Mike and I have been talking about since the season ended. Sheldon Souray.

Doug Wilson has to get this done. He has chased a big time blueliner for the past two offseasons, striking out with Neidermeyer and Chara. I think he has been targeting Souray all along and the fact that Hamerlik has signed in Montreal crosses them off the list. Preissing, Nagy, Handzus and Calder all signed in LA and Lombardi still needs cash to sign Cammerleri (a restricted FA) so you have to figure they are out of the Souray chase. That leaves us - the only team with over ten million in cap room to spend that hasn't struck yet. Come on Doug Wilson. Deliver the goods. I have faith in you.

I think it is also possible he is targeting a veteran forward like Slava Kozlov and Wes Walz. Don't totaly rule out Forsberg and...yes...Bill Guerin. I think Guerin owes the Sharks a hometown discount to come back for one more year at a discounted price for playing like garbage in the stretch. He was not the impact player as advertised and at 2 million for one year, I would take the chance he would have a chip and play hard.

So...we wait and see. I think Wilson won the game of poker and the announcement of Souray is only hours away.

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