Friday, August 31, 2007


Doug Wilson is at it again, signing Patrick Marleau to a two year contract extension worth over six million dollars per season, keeping him in a Sharks uniform until 2010. As I said in my last post, this was a necessary move by the Sharks and another step towards keeping this excellent core of young players intact. Losing Marleaus's 80 points would have been impossible to replace within the organization and the trade value did not seem to be there in the current market (the latest rumor of Montreal offering a young defensemen and Michael Ryder does not equal Marleau's value). Now the team has locked up their main players for a long term run at Lord Stanley and I would assume Wilson will now turn his focus towards extending the younger second and third year players.

Mike and I are both in agreement that Wilson is still trolling for a veteran defensemen to take the pressure off Carle playing 18 minutes a night and preventing Murray/Davison/Semenov from seeing regular minutes as the sixth defensmen. There are two routes Wilson can go to acquire such a player. He can sign from the limited pool of UFA's, offering a two year deal to Danny Markov or Brent Sopel - the two most attractive players left on the market in my opinion. Markov offers more hard hitting and defensive responsibility while Sopel can be more effective on the power play. Sopel also is a right handed shot, something the Sharks need since Rivet is their only other option from the point. Option number two involves making a deal involving a young player or prospect. Players that have been rumored to be available are Derek Morris (Phoenix), Paul Mara (Rangers), and Spacek (Buffalo). They all are top four defensemen that have salaries under four million dollars and can play 16-18 minutes a night with some offensive upside. It may not be the bombsell acquisition we expected but since Souray choose to grab the cash and freeze his ass off for a non playoff team, Wilson had to turn to Plan B.

In the end, I am more excited than ever for the season to start. As a season ticket holder, it is refreshing to see a team keep their core together and to see the players give up a larger payday to commit to winning a Stanley Cup in San Jose.


Anybody listen to hockey podcasts? It's a fairly barren landscape. The Sharks have a official one, with the announcers from the radio and TV all together. It's good stuff, but it's on a erratic schedule. I remember mid-season they went a couple of months without a new one. I looked through iTunes, and going by the "Popularity" field (which may be completely bogus) there's only a couple of non-official podcasts that anyone listens to.

I'm still looking for one that I can get excited about. Generally I'm starved for hockey coverage- the local Mercury News has had pretty few articles this offseason. I check the NHL page of ESPN, and TSN most days, and get feeds of tons of blogs through Google Reader. As a fan of PTI, I long for something along those lines, but for hockey. I think I can count on one hand the number of hockey stories that PTI has done in the last year, most probably on Rick Tocchet. They generally do a "who ya got" thing in the playoffs a few times (I think Wilbon picked against the Sharks every time).

Maybe I just miss NHL 2Nite, the ESPN2 show on hockey that went by the wayside a few years back. But I can't help thinking that there is a market for an entertaining show addressing hockey topics. Most of the podcasts I've found are pretty dry- lots of reading of news stories, breaking down rosters, and the like. Personally, that's the type of stuff I like to read, not listen to.

So questions - Are there any great hockey podcasts out there? If not, would you listen to a hockey podcast that has the accent on 'tainment' in infotainment? And finally, what sort of stuff would you want in that format? All comments welcome.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Smelling Offensive and Getting Defensive

After reading about the Michalek signing today, I started to think about what Doug Wilson accomplished this offseason. Lots of Sharks fans, myself included, have been calling for Wilson to make a big splash and shake up the team. We have even gone so far as to suggest he trade the face of the franchise in Patrick Marleau to get help on the blueline. I admit I was intrigued by the prospect of getting a #1 defesemen for Marleau, but after Redden rejected us, the well dried up. We need to keep the Captain, if he were to leave, who would replace his 80 points of offense? Without Marleau, the Sharks attack would truely be "offensive".
I think the line combos are unknown at this point and the roster has too many centers, seven to be exact. I know Marleau can swing to the wing, but that still leaves Goc, Pavelksi, Brown, Rissmiller and Plihal. Something needs to be done there...

As for the defense, I expect big things from Matt Carle this year. He is only 22 and showed early in the season he can dominate the power play. I think a 55 point season from him is not unreasonable. I am expecting an improvement from fellow All Rookie Team member Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the offensive end as well. He has shown more offensive explosion in the past, scoring 73 points in 2005-06 in Juniors. I think we could see him evolve into more than just a "Hannan" stay at home d-man. With these two continuing to progress, McLaren, Rivet and Ehrhoff will provide steady play. In the end, Doug Wilson was wise not to overpay for a one trick pony like Sheldon Souray. He would have been such a black hole in his own end, it would have hurt Carle and Vlasic's developement. I don't think Wilson will stick with Douglas Murray for the sixth defensemen when the season starts. Could a one year deal be in the works for Danny Markov, as rumored by Eklund? Could the Sharks sign a inexpensive vet like Brent Sopel or David Tanabe to fill the hole until 2006 first round pick Ty Wishert is ready (which could be as soon as next year)

Is there one more deal in the works? I think maybe. As I said before, there is a glut at the center position. We have salary cap space to spare, so would a team take a young, promising center like Marcel Goc or Patrick Rissmiller in a package to get a veteran forward off their books? I could see Boston sending gritty winger P.J. Axelsson or Glen Murray in return for some younger players. Just a thought...

In the end, I have decided not to panic, not to be bitter and to enjoy the fact that we have a franchise that has chosen to keep its core together instead of bringing in new players every year in a merry-go-round of overpriced vets (see New York Rangers). I do believe the Sharks can win now with this current roster. In a matter of weeks, we shall see. Hopefull, Marleau will be signed and my new jersey will have arrived!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Little Things

  • So Grier and I are semi-addicted to Eklund, an 'anonymous' blogger on It's pretty much impossible to be a reader of hockey blogs without running into various opinions on Eklund, whether he's helping or hurting the reputations of hockey bloggers and journalists. If you really want to read about that stuff, you can start with our blog roll on the right. I'm going to stay out of it really, because it doesn't seem like that significant of a story.
  • So Grier is convinced that Doug Wilson has a big trade in the works. Supposedly we were going to trade for Redden, but he invoked his NTC. I'm not convinced that Wilson can make anything happen this late. There are several rumors floating around, and I'm not going to spread gossip. Oh, what the hell. Grier is seeing a three-way trade possibility with ourselves (Marleau), the Habs (Ryder or Higgins) and the Kings (Visnovsky). Adding Visnovsky would be an absolute coup. I hope it can happen.
  • Grier has recently gone to the Tank (for an event that shall remain unnamed) and reports that the new scoreboard is just amazing. Can't wait for the first preseason game.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Waiting game....

As Sharks fans we have been waiting all summer. Waiting to see what the changes inside the Tank. Waiting to see what the Sharks new logo will look like. Waiting on Doug Wilson to make good on his promise to improve the Sharks roster in order to achieve the goal of winning a Stanley Cup. has reported rumors for weeks about Montreal, Toronto and Boston's interest in acquiring Marleau. I know Doug Wilson has said repeatedly he is not shopping Marleau, but I think he did make it known that the captain could be had for the right price, which MUST include a top defensemen and/or a 30+ goal scoring winger. I would hope that if we do business with Boston, a team that is majorly cap strapped, we would only deal Marleau if Zdeno Chara was included in the deal. If somehow we can get Glen Murray and Chara from the B's for Marleau and Ehrhoff, the Sharks would vault to the top of the Western Conference. It would leave us roughly 17 million to resign RFA's Carle, Michalek, Bernier and Clowe. It makes sense for the team to win now while not giving up too much of our future. If we deal with Toronto, we have been rumored to be linked to Pavel Kubina, who I don't see as a solution to our problem. Marleau for McCabe - now we're talking. I don't see what Montreal has that we would want. Ryder is on a one year deal, so there is no advantage to adding him for Marleau - you may as well keep the captain.

Doug Wilson is clearly working to improve the roster. With the Ducks losing ground, I think he can smell the chance to become the front runner in the Pacific. Do not give up the captain unless we get extreme value in return! If Jovo-Cop is on the block, make an offer of some young players to get him on the team. Let's get defensive!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Big Daddy Drew

No, not that one. Although KSK is must reading. In particular, this post, which left me laughing for about ten minutes, and I still laugh out loud every time I read it, which is fairly often.

But I digress. Drew Remenda is back! He signed a multi-year deal with Fox Sports to go back to being the color guy next to Randy Hahn. I'm so tortured- I want to know so badly what became of Marty McSorely, who left suddenly during the playoffs. No word has come why Marty left, whether it was personal, professional, or a combination of both nobody knows. And nobody seems to really care, except me. I guess life is full of little disappointments. I'll get over it.

I think Drew is better in the booth, though I did like Marty. And Shark Byte without Drew was completely unwatchable. With Drew, it was merely lame. Don't get me wrong, Shark Byte is a good program- any exposure the Sharks and hockey in general can get is a good thing. But I'm not the right audience for it. As someone who plays hockey, watches hockey, goes to hockey games, and thinks about hockey a fair amount, the show is a little boring sometimes. But it's going back on the TiVo now. I can just skip past the segments where Rob Zettler talks about how to block shots, with the lesson being to get yourself between the puck and goal. Thanks for the revelation.