Ryan Clowe, San Jose Sharks.
Courtesy: US Presswire
SAN JOSE, CA - The NHL trade deadline is still a ways off - Feb. 27 - but it's not too soon to start evaluating the roster and what the Sharks might do.
First off, there should be little question that San Jose will be a buyer and not a seller at the deadline. General manager Doug Wilson has always been in buying mode since assuming the position in 2003. The Sharks, who lost at Chicago 4-3 Sunday, have seen themselves as Stanley Cup contenders every season under Wilson, and that is no different this year.
With that in mind, Wilson's work already might have begun.
"What I try to do is keep in touch with every GM at least once a month, see how their team is performing, what their injuries are, and plant seeds," Wilson said. "Sometimes you plant a seed and it might take a year or so before a player becomes available. We did some deals with Minnesota this summer that were based upon that. We told them what it is we were looking for, and if a couple of their players they decided they were going to go in a different direction, to please call us."
It's not hard to imagine Wilson could be interested in depth both on defense and at forward. The Sharks have been relatively healthy on the blue line, but Wilson might look to add insurance for the loss of Martin Havlat in case the scoring winger doesn't return before the end of the regular season, as expected.
In addition, the Sharks have struggled to score even as many as three goals on many nights. The third and fourth lines have been inconsistent, and San Jose's penalty kill could use an upgrade. So if there's a fit out there, it makes sense Wilson will pursue that kind of deal.
"We do not apologize for having really high expectations, and that's the beauty of our coach, who came from Detroit and who expects success every year. That's just the way it should be," Wilson said. "We want players that welcome the opportunity to go out and play against the best. We've made the playoffs every year but have not been satisfied that we have not climbed that mountain completely."