3 Moves the Sharks Should Have Made At Deadline

Trade Deadline
(Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

The craziness of the Trade Deadline came and went. The argument over whether the Sharks are packing it in or pushing for the playoffs is underway. Doug Wilson didn’t make any huge moves, but he had a few moves he left on the table.

Sharks Trade Deadline Summary

Before the madness of Monday, the Sharks began slowly making changes. Spoiler alert, there was nothing that ground breaking. Tye McGinn was waived and then picked up by the Arizona Coyotes. James Sheppard was shipped to the New York Rangers for a 4th round draft pick. Andrew Desjardins was traded to the Blackhawks for Ben Smith (who starred in his debut Monday). Freddie Hamilton moved to Colorado for Karl Stollery. And Tyler Kennedy was given to the Islanders (I say given because the Sharks are only getting a 7th rounder).

It wasn’t a glamorous deadline day, but it was the right play. However, in a perfect world, Doug Wilson would have made a few more moves on March 2nd.

Matt Irwin

Matt has been a pleasant surprise offensively this season. His seventh goal of the season on Monday was his career high. However, he is an unrestricted free agent and will likely not be brought back next season. Doug Wilson has been desperately trying to make his team younger and change the leadership. While Irwin is not incredibly old, he has seemingly reached his peak with San Jose. A good puck moving defenseman could have fetched a fourth round pick or maybe higher in this season’s highly touted draft class.

(Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Scott Hannan

The issue at the deadline with Scott Hannan is his age. He probably doesn’t have a whole lot left in his legs at age 36, but his experience is valuable. With 100 games in the postseason and over 200 points in his career, Hannan is truly a veteran. He might have fetched a later round pick (especially if he settled for a 7th rounder for TK) instead of his likely retirement this Summer. It would have been a long shot, but had Wilson moved Hannan and gotten anything at all to help in this deep draft it would have done more to rescue the franchise than a uninspired playoff run.

Antti Niemi

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr)

Clearly the biggest name the Sharks could have moved would have been Antti Niemi. Doug Wilson undoubtedly asked a lot for his starting goalie. And while it looked like the buyers weren’t looking for goalies at the break, that story was buried when the Islanders snagged Michal Neuvirth from Buffalo. The two goalies have similar numbers, yet Niemi towers over Neuvirth in experience. While Halak expects to be the starter down the stretch, the Isles are not a defensive team. They actually rank behind the Sharks in goals against per game. If Doug Wilson had brought down his price for a rental goalie, he could have come away with something. He could have packaged Tyler Kennedy with Niemi to make even more of an impact. The Isles gave up a third round pick for that goalie. Adding TK to Niemi may have made a second round pick a possibility.

Looking Ahead

(Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sharks had a decent deadline. Nothing exciting, but also, nothing too overly foolish. They didn’t gamble with rentals and they didn’t throw away too much talent. Their young players will now be forced into playing time. Chris Tierney, Barclay Goodrow, and Melker Karlsson will join Hertl and Nieto as roster mainstays.

However, the return they got was not good enough to really make an impact. They have no business re-signing any of their remaining free agents (sorry John Scott fans) on the top squad. Yet the Sharks only have 2 picks in the first 100. The Sharks don’t have a lot to bargain with come draft day either. If anything this deadline leaves them a bit stuck when trying to maneuver. Now, unless the Sharks give up an impact player, they won’t be able to move up at all on the draft boards.

10 thoughts on “3 Moves the Sharks Should Have Made At Deadline”

  1. by trading only the young, aside from Tyler K, the Sharks made scapegoats out of the kids and gave their “leaders” a free pass…. Joe has to go..

    • I wouldn’t necessarily say that. The vets stay because they are still useful to the young core that is taking over. I don’t think just handing the team over to them will be as useful as letting the old guys run their contracts through. Thornton still drives play when he’s on the ice. Couture has always had Marleau next to him, so I think those two still deserve it. They traded guys who weren’t coming back next season. Which was good. This article is all about how they missed out on the others that probably will not come back

  2. Giving up a young NHL defenseman with mobility, even if not a strong top 4 blue liner…… for a 4th rounder? What orifice did you pull that out of?

    • Thanks for the read and feedback.
      Irwin being an Unrestricted Free Agent drives his value down. He’s mobile, sure. But he’s not going to fetch a whole lot on the market as a rental. Doug Wilson wants to go young. He’s got youth in the defensive corps. I don’t think Irwin comes back next season.

  3. You can’t trade without a partner. Wilson said very clearly that the market dictates what he is and is not able to do.
    You think he didn’t want to trade Irwin, Hannan, and Niemi? perhaps, perhaps not.
    Perhaps no one wanted them, even for a 7th rounder.
    The fact is that using the word “should” is silly.

    • Thanks for the read and feedback.
      Sure Hannan and Irwin were tougher sells. But as soon as the Isles took Neuvirth, there was zero reason to believe that Niemi couldn’t have been the one to move there. There were reports of Niemi being shopped. But I don’t see these three being back next season. If that’s the case, they “should” have gotten something for them.

      • You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        If we assume Wilson was trying to trade them, which I think is a very safe assumption, then 29 other GMs assigned the value of those players as “zero.”
        So, how do you propose Wilson trade with people who do not want what he is trading?
        I’m actually stunned that you think Niemi could have been Neuvirth. Niemi is 5 years older, arguably not as good, and 1.3 mil more expensive this season. That’s 3 reasons why Niemi wouldn’t have been moved to NYI.

        and, for the record, I don’t think any of them will be back either, but that still doesn’t mean their value is more than zero.

        • Failure to move doesn’t necessarily mean they were valued at zero. It either means DW couldn’t agree with teams or he didn’t try. I disagree on Nemo not carrying the same value as Neuvirth. The Sharks could eat some of his salary, he has Cup experience, and as you said Neuvirth is arguably better (I argue on the other side). Hannan is the only one I can see being passed on by all other teams, but even then I can see him getting the same return as Kennedy. Matt Irwin definitely could push a contender over the top in my eyes as well

          • Kenneth, what you do not seem to understand is that you are not a GM for any team in the NHL. so, what you can see is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what THEY see. I’m not here to argue the value of players, or trades in some fantasy league. I’m, apparently, teaching you about language.

            This is an argument you can’t win. The whole concept of “Wilson should have” requires that Wilson act as well as another person act, and that’s something that Wilson has no control over, so “should” can’t be used in this context. It’s silly to use it the way you did, and that’s been my point from the start. It’s like saying “Wilson ‘should’ trade Thornton and Marleau.” You can’t say “should” because that requires action from TWO other people, neither of whom he has control over.
            Wilson should trade…Incorrect
            Patty and Joe should be traded…correct

            As far as Niemi, again, you can’t win this. you said “there was zero reason to believe” Niemi could not have been traded instead of Neuvirth. I gave you 3. Your arguments for why he could have are irrelevant because they do not support your original claim, and are more at home in discussions of fantasies that did not happen, but “could” have.

            Just say, “Thank you, You’re right.” And in the future, for constructions like this, use the word could (possibility) instead of would (duty or ought).

            • I guess I mistook your main argument to be about my choices in trades. I understand your issue with my word choice. Thanks for the feedback, Jeff

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