Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Point - Counterpoint

Grier wrote his "In Wilson We Trust" post, and I'm going to provide the counterpoint.

All Wilson's eggs are in one basket right now - Souray. If Souray is not signed, it's yet another year where the Sharks strike out in the free agent market. There might be some trades in the works, but then we'd have to give up something for Redden, Murray, or JovoCop. The whole point of free agency is you just pay the guy, and have to give up nothing in return. With the above three we lose players and pay them their millions in salary. Not the same thing. And keep in mind they're going to want quality players. I don't think Patrick Rissmiller will be enough to get those guys.

So Wilson's painted himself into a corner, with only one major free agent left, and several teams in the bidding. I might be a bit insulated out in here in sunny California, but I don't think San Jose is considered an elite hockey destination. We may have the biggest ice center west of the Mississippi, but we have the standing of toddlers in the hockey world. Chara took less money to sign with Boston, for God's sake. A franchise that is only slightly better managed than Chicago.

I hate to cast an approving eye to the south, but the Ducks did it right. They hedged Niedermayer retiring by signing Schneider. They're hedging Selanne's retirement by signing Bertuzzi. Those guys retire, they're not as good as last year, but they're not floundering in the bowels of the Western Conference- they are still a good playoff team.

The Sharks biggest liability last year is a greater liability now. Hannan is gone, with no one to take his place. And the last decent defenseman on the market played the last 7 years in the biggest hockey town in North America, probably the world. Color me unconvinced that Wilson can pull of a miracle here.

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