Written by Brian Smith and can be found on twitter at @sharkfinfan32
For the past 5 seasons the San Jose Sharks have been buyers at the trade deadline and this year looks no different. In the past Sharks GM Doug Wilson has done a lot of tweaking of the team, by acquiring “rental” players like Dominic Moore. But this year hopefully is different for the Sharks. Because Wilson traded away 2- Top 6 Forwards in Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi the team began the season with just 5 legitimate top 6 forwards.
With the anticipated Martin Havlat injury, that depth as gone down to 4 Legitimate top 6 forwards. With no decent minor league forwards prospects on the horizon the team has had to use 3rd and 4th line players like Tommy Wingels, Benn Ferriero, and Torrey Mitchell on the top line at times this year. A legitimate Stanley Cup contender can not win with player like that on your top line.
While there are names like Rick Nash out their, I doubt Wilson would be willing to pull the strings on a deal that would in the long run benefit the team, but in the short run might hurt the team. I for one would sacrifice this year as I don’t see this team as anywhere near a Stanley Cup contender. While this will not go over well with Sharks fans, many of whom are disenchanted with Sharks management, I see Wilson doing more of his “tweaking” come deadline day. I could see him making a run at Tumuo Ruutu, or Ales Hemsky, neither of whom is a long term solution for the team. I could also see Wilson standing pat and claiming he is happy with the team the way it is currently assembled.
But with plenty of cap space and needs, I would love to see Wilson go out and get a player or two who would not be rental player. A player who would come to the team and actually help in the long term, and that player would be Rick Nash. Nash is the right answer for the Sharks. He is relatively young, and if you put him in the mix with Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe, you have a decent top line for about 5 seasons.
It is becoming increasingly clear to some Sharks fans that both Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are slowing down, both of these players are getting older and Thornton in particular is showing a marked point deduction. So adding Nash would give you that long term solution. But who would the Sharks have to give up to get Nash? My guess would be a player such as Joe Pavelski. While I am a huge Pavelski fan he is never going to be the potential scorer that Nash is and he also plays a position Center, that is easily replaceable. Add in the fact that in 3 seasons Pavelski would be do for a huge raise in his contract, where as Nash would be signed long term. I think you add in a young defense man like Jason Demers, a goalie prospect Tyson Sexsmith, and maybe a #1 draft pick in 2013 and you might have a deal with Columbus.
While I would rather trade a Marleau or Thornton than Pavelski, but both of those players have no movement clauses and neither one would accept a trade to Columbus or anywhere for that matter. While I don’t expect it too happen, I can only hope that Wilson does the right thing, but based on his history at the deadline I am not expecting much to get done. With little depth on the team, and no top prospects on the way, Wilson needs to act now stop the “rental” player mistake and start looking for the long term solutions.