Wilson improves Sharks without blockbuster move

February 27, 2012, 9:40 pm
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The hints that the Sharks would be idle at the trade deadline came in tiny but perceptible waves. Doug Wilson kept getting asked about players being moved out and he kept talking about players coming back in. They talked trades, he talked health.And even for someone who hates the idea of playing with his media friends during trading season, he was unusually coy.But after a road trip so wretched that Todd McLellan being hit in the head by an opponents stick could be considered a high point, the suspicion that Wilson was fibbing about his teams activity remained strong.

And in the end, it was or seeing his coach get clocked caused him to sit up and take notice. Either way, the Sharks made serious moves on Rick Nash and James Van Riemsdyk before pulling off a deadline deal that netted them two seemingly useful pieces in Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi from Colorado in exchange for Jamie McGinn and prospects Michael Sgarbossa and Mike Connelly.RELATED: Sharks made deadline deal with Avs (21 comments)
Winnik, who likely will take McGinn's spot on the third line, and Galiardi, who likely becomes a right wing on the fourth line, would be regarded as immediate help for a team that hit E on their recent road trip, but Wilsons seeming disinterest in the market was in fact seeming.According to multiple sources, he worked with the Flyers to strike a deal for Van Riemsdyk, the 22-year-old left winger, and also tried to convince the Blue Jackets to talk Nash without including the name Logan Couture. But when those didnt happen (neither Van Riemsdyk nor Nash moved), Wilson scrambled to do the Colorado deal, beating the deadline by about an hour.Winnik, who makes 950,000, is an unrestricted free agent with penalty killing skills who was a more dynamic player when he was with Phoenix. Galiardi, who is 22, makes 700,000 and is a restricted free agent. Colorado had wanted to package Winnik and Galiardi separately, according to sources, but couldnt make both deals work and therefore settled for the group play San Jose offered.When Dominic Moore, the checking winger from Tampa Bay, is put into the trade mix, the Sharks have essentially changed half their third and fourth lines, and still have Martin Havlat expected to come off the ouchie list in two weeks. In short, the Sharks tried to make big moves, acknowledged that this wasnt the market for that made medium-sized moves, and are hoping that lots of tweaking can substitute for one big splash.The one big splash was largely prevented by the roster and talent logjam. After you remove the untradeables (Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle, Michal Handzus) and the ungettables (Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns and eventually Joe Pavelski), there wasnt a lot to love here. Lots of journeymen, a hunk of undertested youth, and not a lot of marketability.That he got what he did for McGinn, having his best year, and two prospects, of which Sgarbossa is considered the superior of the two, is actually not a bad score at all, but it is not the seismic move that he apparently sought, nor does it change the central core.So these San Jose Sharks, the ones you saw just endure the Bump-In-The-Head road trip, are the ones you will white-knuckle into April.Indeed, after years of being the popular off-brand Cup pick, the Sharks have been supplanted as media darlings by Nashville, which acquired Paul Gaustad from Buffalo and Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal.But San Jose has now changed itself at the edges again, as they have in deadline days past, and theyll find out starting Tuesday if theyve relocated their fizz.