In a joint press conference between the San Jose Sharks and the city of San Jose, team owner Hasso Plattner accurately acknowledged the team’s shortcomings. Courtesy of CSN California’s Kevin Kurz:
Hasso: “As everybody knows, we need a defenseman or two, and we need probably a better 4th line. Then we will have a good team again.”
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) May 8, 2015
Yet even though the owner correctly recognizes team deficiencies, he continues to back his GM Doug Wilson who annually fails to provide his team with quality players in those deficient areas. In doing so this time, Plattner criticizes the fans for overreacting. Courtesy of the Mercury News’ David Pollak:
(1/2) #SJSharks owner Plattner on calls for GM Wilson's firing: "I think this is over-reaction by the fans. I understand that they're ….
— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) May 8, 2015
Overreaction by the fans eh? The same die hard fans that have been following the team closely for years are the ones who are overreacting? They should instead trust an owner who most casual fans have never even heard of because he is hardly ever around and only been in charge since 2013? The fans wanting a new GM after 12 seasons of coming up short is an overreaction? The Sharks ownership and front office continues to do nothing but shoot themselves in the foot seemingly every time they speak. The fans support the team on the ice, and those players are not fond of what Wilson has done the last 12-13 months. Joe Thornton, the most high profile player told Wilson to shut his mouth back in March, Logan Couture says the culture in the room isn’t great. The core group of top players are united around Thornton, who is clearly disgusted with Wilson.
Plattner Misses the Mark Again
Yet the fans are the ones overreacting Hasso? Really? That is an absolute bizarre statement to make. But we have already seen bizarre statements from Hasso, a few weeks ago, he sent out that poorly written letter defending both Wilson and COO John Tortora. Wilson has lost the trust and respect of his group of players and all Tortora has done of note is effectively fire the fans favorite broadcaster and brought in ice girls. How can an owner expect the fans to get on board with this GM and this COO? Fans see their favorite players upset with the GM, and they no longer get to listen to an entertaining broadcaster and instead have to see ice girls at the intermission. Fans are rightfully upset, and they have a plethora of reasons to be. There is absolutely no unity from top to bottom in this organization, none whatsoever. The team lost their sellout streak last season because the fans weren’t happy with the way things were being run and it is only going to get worse. After missing the playoffs this year, attendance numbers will be even lower this upcoming season since there is little reason to believe this team will be able to compete with the best of the best. They still have a lot of talent, but with all the nonsensical self-inflicted drama created by the front office, this team won’t be getting close to a championship any time soon.
Sharks’ Mojo is Dead
Talented teams still need cohesion, chemistry, confidence to play well as a team. They don’t need this endless amount of drama behind the scenes weighing them down. Since Joe Thornton was acquired through the 2013-14 season, confidence was always high, even when the team wasn’t that good in 2011-12, confidence was high that the team could finish the job. The last 12-13 months though, the aura of confidence around the Shark Tank is long gone. You saw it in the terrible home record this past season. Even when San Jose was in playoff position at the end of January, there was never the same feeling about having a deep playoff run as there was in years past. This franchise is in complete and utter disarray and the blame lies unfortunately with an owner and front office that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. The Sharks used to be a model franchise but the last year and change has sent their reputation spiraling down to the same level of their Bay Area neighbors in the NFL’s 49ers.
Andrew has been credentialed to cover the Sharks since 2010 and the 49ers since 2012. He graduated with his BA in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts in 2013 from San Francisco State University.