Sharks End of an Era or Trade for Sekera?

End of an Era or Sekera?

Sharks 2nd line
Patrick Marleau & Joe Thornton (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The San Jose Sharks are floundering at the moment, on track to possibly miss the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Given their apparent wish to get younger, missing the playoffs altogether could actually be better for them in terms of winning the Stanley Cup in future seasons. However, as a top tier possession team just a season ago, they aren’t far off from being a contender again. That is the most frustrating thing for many Sharks fans. Their team is only mere tweaks away from having the goods to go deep in the playoffs but they seem unwilling to make those necessary alterations. Given their needs at both defense and forward, a simple trade could spark both the blue-line and the offense. This is of course if GM Doug Wilson is willing to give up a little bit of the future.

A trade partner the Sharks should consider is the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are once again sellers this season. Leading up to the trade deadline GM Ron Francis will be looking to acquire picks and prospects for his expiring veteran contracts. One of those types of players Carolina would be looking to move is defenseman Andrej Sekera. The 28-year-old Sekera is on the last year of a deal that comes at a cap hit of under three million, so the Sharks can easily fit him in under their cap. He is a puck moving left-handed defenseman that could come in and fill multiple needs. Not only would he be an immediate impact upgrade into the top-4 defense, but he would supplant Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the second power-play unit. Vlasic is not a strong offensive player from the blue-line and Sekera would be a huge improvement. Furthermore, acquiring him would give the Sharks the option, one they would be nuts not to take at that point, and that is to move Brent Burns back to forward.

Sharks Still Possess Prominent Pieces

(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
Andrej Sekera (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

If the Sharks were to make this deal happen they would have nearly the exact same makings of a roster/lineup that saw them steamroll the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. That season the Sharks were a bounce away from the Western Conference final. Right now as they are currently constructed they are about 200 bounces away from the third round of the playoffs. Prior to their win over Dallas on Thursday they were on the outside looking in on the postseason. For those who say the Sharks need more than a couple tweaks, well, look at the Nashville Predators. A playoff bubble team for years all of a sudden is the best team in the regular season thus far. With the right changes the Sharks could catapult back into not just the playoff picture but the Stanley Cup picture.

An underrated defenseman for years with struggling franchises, Sekera won’t cost an arm and a leg the way someone like Jordan Eberle or Taylor Hall of Edmonton would. A young defenseman and a second round pick would be a fair price and would fit what Carolina is looking for. While the Sharks don’t have a deep pool of prospects, they do have some very good ones at the top of their list. San Jose trading 19-year-old defenseman Mirco Mueller and a second round draft choice for Sekera would help both teams. Of course the Sharks and many of their fans may not want to give up on Mueller but as Doug Wilson says time and time again, “you have to give to get.”

(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
Mirco Muelle (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

The Swiss born Mueller has No. 1 pair shut down potential and that is certainly difficult to trade away. Obviously long term keeping Mueller wouldn’t be a bad move. However, given the fact the Sharks have Marc-Edouard Vlasic solidifying their top pair for years to come and that they acquired 24-year-old Brenden Dillon in November, the Sharks would still have two guys who can play the left side long term. Even though it seems like he has been around for a decade, Vlasic is somehow only 27. While Dillon has had his ups and downs this season, like Mueller, he has the potential to develop into a top-4 shut down guy. All three of these guys are left-handed defensive defensemen. While trading Mueller loses some depth in that spot for the future, the stay at home left side of the defense is currently a source of strength going into the near future.

And who knows, maybe the Sharks have a great playoff, get close to or win the Stanley Cup and Sekera resigns at a reasonable rate. There is always risk in rental trades but they don’t always end up with the player leaving for free agency like Brian Campbell did in 2008. If the Sharks were able to acquire Sekera, they could go Vlasic-Dillon together and Sekera with Justin Braun for a solid top 4. That would more easily allow Burns to be moved up front. The Sharks would have the necessary puck moving abilities on the back end and would be much stronger up front than they have been all season. It isn’t likely to happen (pretty much a pipe dream) because the Sharks seem unwilling to admit mistakes and improve their lineup despite their current free fall. However, these simple tweaks and the Sharks would once again be a contender.

27 thoughts on “Sharks End of an Era or Trade for Sekera?”

  1. This hack blogger, not writer BLOGGER fails to recognize so many other glaring trends.

    #1 this is Marleaus worst season since 2008
    #2 Nieto and Hertl would would NOT be top 6 forwards on any other current playoff team.
    #3 Wingels improvement at the start of the season has plateaued and is also not a true top 6 forward. This leaves the Sharks with a total of 3 true top six forwards right now four if you include Karlsson. That is HORRENDOUS.
    #4 Desjardins the Sharks most consistent bottom six guy for the past few seasons is playing terribly.
    #5 Kennedy, Sheppard, McGinn and the rest really are not 3rd line material.

    With all of this in mind with all that has changed how in the world is EVERYTHING on Brent Burns? He is responsible for the play of Hertl? Nieto? Marleau? Wingels? Desjardins? the entire forward lineup? If so that is embarrassing. It shows that the Sharks as a whole have absolutely no true skill, work ethic or heart.

    Oh and speaking of defense. Only Burns and Vlasic would be TOP 4 defensemen on most playoff teams this season. Justin Braun is a push. Dillon probably not. So San Jose easily has the worst Dcorps since pre 2004. Before Ehrhoff. That is embarrassing. yet time and time again it is Brent Burns fault. It’s always Brent Burns fault, the guy who is about to post career highs in…everything. Brilliant deduction Sherlock.

  2. Mr. Bensch you assume the Sharks will be buyers at the deadline when it’s been widely reported that their shopping their starting goalie. This article isn’t particularly realistic as the Sharks are likely just waiting till after the outdoor game to actually move some pieces out. Niemi and Kennedy are the 2 players I expect, but it could be more.

  3. The Sharks have the answer standing behind their bench, that tall guy with all the cups on his resume, fortunately for the rest of the division, and the league, Dougie fails to realize it.

    • Robinson doesn’t want to head coach anymore sadly. Friend worked the Sharks tahoe tournament told me though that Robinsion didn’t want to have to coach Burns and preferred he stay at forward.

      • Larry made similar comments after his leaving Los Angeles, where frustration led him to the emotional brink several times, however Lou knew what to say and his heart got back into it with the Devils. His health now a possible issue deterring him from wanting another head coaching job, due to it’s frustrations, may be the reason he doesn’t want Burns on defense (the look on his face each time LA exposed Burns might have been a hint). His passion however, and commitment to his players (displayed in spades wearing Sykora’s jersey during Devil’s cup celebration) are exactly the team building tools it appears the Sharks need and currently lack. So close and yet so far, shame really.

        • With them recently announcing his step back from assisting full time and doing more player development, i doubt hed want to coach but yeah i think him in charge would be better than mclellan. I just idk if TM is stubborn to the way he likes to strategize or what but it is not working, he gets out coached by Sutter and didn’t learn from those mistakes. Still running top heavy units

      • You really think a “friend” who works at a golf tournament is a reliable source. Oh and his word is more valuable than Brent Burns himself?

  4. I used to get frustrated with all the talk about moving Burns to forward after Wilson said it wasn’t going to happen as this seems to be Benschs pet peeve and I get that people have those, so I stood idly by. But dumping Mirco and a 2nd rounder for Sekera is insane. Mirco was a 1st rounder just two or three years ago. So we dump of 19 year old 1st rounder, add in a second rounder for Sekera. I cannot comprehend this in anyway. Sekera is 28 and going into free agency. Mirco is 19 and has multiple years of team control left. Lets sell as low as possible on this guy who should be our future. Mirco and a second rounder, for Sekera? Really? Come on.

    • Ever since Burns was acquired the Sharks have been a playoff bubble team with him as a defenseman. At forward, they have been a top tier puck possession team

      as for moving Mueller, of course its risky and giving up the future, acquiring sekera for less would be ideal, heck using their cap space to sign niskanen/stralman this offseason and not have to give anything up to get either of them would have been ideal.

      But this is what happens when the Sharks strike out in UFA, they have to make trades if they want to win. If they want to piss another year of Thornton n Marleau away, then thats what they want to do. If that is the plan though, they ought to move as many of their own pending UFAS for as many picks as possible by March 2 and play as many young guys as possible. If they aren’t going to go for the Cup this year by adding at the deadline, than playing guys like Hannan, Irwin, Scott, Desjardins, Sheppard etc. over guys like Tierney, Tarasov, Doherty, Fedun etc. makes little sense. Give as many AHL guys a real extended look over veterans that are established as low end players with little potential.

      • This writer is not very smart. I accidentally clicked on this without looking at the website and ended up on this garbage, hopefully for the last time. For one they are not going to move Burns back to wing as he is too valuable at D being the only person on the team that can create scoring opportunities from that position. The sharks rely on the D jumping up in the play and creating chances and Burns is the only one who can consistently do that.

        Secondly, you do not want to rush young players into the league as is can hurt their growth and they need time to develop there skills in the AHL. Do you not see what Edmonton is doing to their prospects and how it has affected them? Playing with the Sharks gives them limited ice time of maybe 10-12 mins a game while in Worcester they play 19-20 mins a game. When you are young minutes are very important for your development so playing on the third and fourth lines would be hurting their growth.

        Why do you think Couture is where he is now? It’s because they gave him time in Worcester to develop and didn’t just throw him in the lineup right away. It’s unbelievable how you cannot grasp this simple concept.

  5. And lets put lipstick on the pig while we are at it. The Sharks are nowhere close to Stanley Cup contenders simply because we do not have the goaltending to win it all. Niemi’s numbers have been trending down the past two seasons and only won a Cup because all he had to do was not screw up with Chicago. Even then he was pulled in games.

  6. interesting. I agree that 88 ought to be a wing and 41 seems like he’s overmatched most of the time. I don’t see Sekera play much but I don’t think he would be enough of an upgrade to help the Sharks, Burnzie moving up front could. Marleau is playing well, just mainly unlucky and I’d move him to the 3rd line.

    • it baffles me what the Sharks have against going with what has historically worked best for them in the past and that is


      all they need is to find a decent puck moving replacement in the top 4 to replace burns and they would be able to have three legit lines and a solid top 4 d

      • Given Hertl and Nieto have both been in sophmore slumps, and Sheppard being a better 4-line center, if they move Burns back to offense (which they WON’T, you know they wont, we know they wont… they wont) best lines I could see them successfully use now would be


        Desi and Shep can move around the 4th line with McGinn, Tierney, Hayes, whatever other young AHLer needs some NHL dev time. Supplement Goodrow into the 3rd line mix.
        But these lines wont happen. They wont move Burns back to forward. They wont relegate Pavs to a 3 (or 2) line center. They’ll play John Scott and Tyler Kennedy (when he isn’t injured), And we will watch them tirelessly shuffle the deck night after night and wonder why their performance lacks consistency.

  7. Acquiring Sekera would be smart if they want to make a playoff push, but trading Mueller for him would be stupid. Mueller has much more upside than Dillon. Trading Dillon, a pick and a lesser defensive prospect such as Dylan Demelo or young depth such as Matt Irwin would make more sense. They upgrade Dillon, still have Braun and Burns in the top 4 and can look forward to Mueller developing in the next year or two.

    • of course youd rather give up less if you could. I was going for the more realistic approach to what Sekera might cost.

  8. even moving Burns back to forward still leaves the Sharks with no 3rd line, the first 2 lines aren’t gelling, Marleau has gone back to a passive marshmallow with his new 3 yr no move contract and McClellan has been outcoached in every playoff series every year not to mention he has no creativity and has an X and O system regardless of the opponent. this team will go nowhere in the playoffs with him as head coach; anyone could have won 300 reg season games with the talented players he inherited when he took the reins.

    • I agree with you that mclellan is overrated. And even if they move burns up they will probably screw it up by overloading 8-19-88 like they did last year in the playoffs even though they built their 3-0 lead on the success of 48-19-88, 15-8-57 as the 1 and 3 lines.

  9. JR, you have very good insights into and about this club. I, too, am shocked DW has kept his job this long. His seeming yearly incompetence (between bad trades and even worse drafts), is only overshadowed by his BSng the paying customers into believing he is ‘trying’ to build a “winner”? Sharks’ mgmt./ownership have consistently built a team for the regular season because it puts fannies in the seats. But they have not built a “winner” for the playoffs. The dedication to do “whatever it takes” to win a SC has NEVER manifested itself there, in ANY iteration. Hence what is happening now, fans are now wise to the regular season ruse and stopped going to the games (as evidenced by dwindling attendance) enough is enough. Until Sharks’ mgmt./ownership start to compete for the SC, fans will not attend/sellouts. Sharks mgmt./ownership have squandered the good nature of diehard Sharks fans, who are NO longer going to attend games where the regular season is the ceiling and the playoffs are icing on the cake. These fans want (DESERVE) mgmt. and ownership dedicated to do whatever is necessary to WIN the SC. Not just compete in the regular season.

    • If they miss the playoffs, hopefully they only average like 15K fans next year, that will send a message. Smart Sharks fans should be as fed up with management as 49ers fans are right now with Jed York.

  10. with the Sharks riding playoff ‘bubble’ as the trade deadline starts to loom it will be interesting to see if Wilson gives up anything and makes a move to improve the club or stands pat with his ‘youth’ and picks. My guess is that he is willing to sacrifice this season and miss the playoffs for the first time in 10 years because that is what he sold the owner on in the off-season to somehow save his job. If SJ thinks the seats are empty this year at the tank just wait until next year if they miss the playoffs. Bay Area fans will not support a loser. Hopefully the inevitable hit to the revenue is what will finally get ownership to fire Wilson, albeit a couple years to late at that point.

    • Following up the worst collapse in franchise history by doing nothing but change where Burns plays (even though he was a stud 5v5 forward) letting go a couple old and washed up guys and signing a couple of goons? This team needed to make a splash for once in UFA (they had/have the cap room) but instead Wilson didn’t do anything. He is terrible when it comes to free agency, i mean 4 years for Adam Burish? Two years for Handzus? Colin White? Jim Vandermeer? John Scott? Resigning a washed up Nic Wallin? DW is too focused on “character” and not enough on actual hockey skill..

  11. This is beyond stupid. DW has said time again he won’t trade our youth or picks for short term fixes. And why on earth would aquiring Sekera open up a chance to move Burns? They don’t play the same side.

    • Doug Wilson has said a lot of things. He has been steadfast in saying he won’t trade youth, but that could also be posturing. He said status quo is not an option and then proceeded to make little to no substantial changes in the offseason. A short term fix does seem very unlikely but not improbable depending on the price. As for left side vs right side, the Sharks have left handed shooters capable of playing the right side. Vlasic playing with anyone would be a strong shut down pair.

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