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J0e Th0rnton


blog-0110716001403048550.gifDear Doug Wilson, this is for you.Midget.gif

Doug Wilson's comments today indicate he wants to trade everyone 30 and over for prospects and picks. Ill bold the comments and give my thoughts.

"I want players that want to play here, not just live here." Said in reference to player who wanted to return, not current

Most Shark fans think it is Setoguchi after hearing it is a former Shark who wants to come back.

"There has been a lot of roster turnover in the last 12 months, and there will be more going forward"

There has? TJ Galiardi, Ryane Clowe, Michael Handzus, Scott Gomez and now, Dan Boyle and Havlat. Other than Clowe and Boyle, none were impact players and Wilson for years has made perplexing decisions to give bloated contracts to spare parts on the bottom 6 and bottom D pairing, while letting good parts go, or trading them.

Trading Ehrhoff for nothing and replacing him with used goods and useless players like Huskins, Wallin, Vandermeer, Colin White, and numerous call up's who were downright awful like Semenov, Davison.

Letting bottom 6 guys who make a difference like Malhotra, Winnik, Mcginn go, but always filling the blanks with garbage like Burish, Kennedy, or past their prime players like Handzus or a 43 year old Claude Lemieux,

"When you're in a rebuild there's no panic or rush, so you do it at the right time. ... we're building for the future."

"When you assume it's any one of the players we move, you get picks for next year or prospects, which you can use as assets to acquire"

"But I don't want to diminish the opportunity for the young guys to take over this team ... because they've earned the right."

"The day I let Mike Ricci go was not a happy day. But I think the honesty of my job is to do what's right for the organization"

"It's going to be a challenge, but you go into is with eyes wide open,"

Instead of doing the right thing and going out and getting good players, you want to blow it up and rebuild? We don't need to rebuild. We have solid youth movement. Couture and Hertl at center, Nieto and Wingels on the wings. Vlasic and Braun on defense. Stalock in net. Tierney, a neast of a prospect who I think will do great things, and Mueller, who looks like another Vlasic in the system. All these guys are very young and great players. We also have a solid mix of Middling age guys like Burns and Pavelski and Torres, and Vets named Thornton and Marleau who are still playing elite Hockey at age 35 and signed with you for hometown discounts with the assurances that they would end their careers here. Going back on your word so soon Wilson? Unless you are planning on trading EVERYONE, there is no way this team is in "rebuild" mode. If you do plan on trading everyone, you should be fired before you can ruin the team. Already hundreds of Sharks season ticket holders on twitter voiced their support of keeping Thornton and not doing anything too rash. You lost in 7 games to the Stanley cup champs, and mostly due to an unfortunate injury to your Olympic gold medal best in the league defensive defenseman and one of the best puck movers in the game, Vlasic.

This season going into the playoffs, just about EVERY sharks fan was praying nobody on defense got hurt, or we were done like dinner(And look what happens). We were also praying Niemi would be moved for just about anyone given how bad he played all season and every previous playoff for us.

Niemi is a huge momentum killer due to his liability and inability to make routine saves, have a crappy glove hand, blocker side(in fact, any puck 18 inches off the ice is a true danger of going in), bad lateral movement, and bad rebound control....and he plays the puck like it is a bouncing grenade. Sharks fans everywhere break out in sweat every time he leaves te net to play the puck. He usually manages to give it to whoever the closest opposing player is

An illustration of where goals were scored against him this past season.


Niemi let in almost 4 goals a game on average in the playoffs. FOUR. And a lot of them were routine saves for anyone with Lateral movement or a quick glove hand.

Our defense lacked anyone who can play more than 20 minutes a night without it showing except Vlasic. And Guess who goes down? Vlasic, the Iron man who never misses games. Meaning extra time on ice needs to be given to geriatric Hannan and Stuart, and Boyle, who has been sheltered at even strength and is obviously loing a step every month. Irwin and Braun were our best two defenders after Vlasic went down, and Braun looks afraid to even try anything because he has to support Stuart so much and Irwin was at best, a #6, but better than 3 of our vets.

The "New" system TMac wanted to employ with speed requires quick puck movement from defense to already streaking forwards, and chip and chase when you can't streak in. A virtual impossibility once Vlasic went down. The other half of the game is puck possession and board play. Something we were #2 in the league at all year. Want to guess who was #1? Yup, the kings.

The Forwards had to come all the way back to support defense so much that the kings were able to clog the center and force a chip and chase. Which, against anyone else, would have been fine since we are the #2 possession and board team in the league. Against the kings? No.

Yes, the powerplay was torrid. And who was the coach who continued to send out the exact same arrangement of players? Dan Boyle was once deadly with his quick release, but fumbled or hesitated on so many perfect Thornton saucer passes that the shooting lanes closed before he could do anything. More than 10 times, Quick's amazing glove hand robbed Pavelski or Marleau from a perfect Thornton pass that looked like a sure goal.

The bottom line is, if the players were ignoring the coach, he would have benched them a few shifts to get their attention. The only guy who was benched or lost powerplay time was Burns in game 6. And it is simply because Burns follows no system. Nobody knows what he is doing out there. he creates organized chaos up front because of that unpredictability. And Speaking of coaching, Why was Thornton given 75% defensive zone draws in the last 3 games like a checking forward? Pavelski got 20 more faceoffs in the last 3 games, and still did not win as many draws a Thornton. And Pavelski is the guy touted to be the all purpose two way player who gets all the important defensive zone draws. When the game is tied, fine, but when you need a goal, you start Jumbo joe, who wins all faceoffs, in the offensive zone.

I could and have been going on about this for weeks. but the bottom line is this. If you blow the team up right now when they are a piece away from winning it all instead of going out and getting a Niskanen UFA, you are stupid. Plain and simple. Look at Edmonton, Buffalo, Florida and the Islanders and tell me how well their rebuild is doing after giving their top players away. If you trade one of Thornton, Marleau or Pavelski, it better not be just to trade them. The return should be a top pairing left side defenseman like Keith Yandle or Roman Josi who can eat big minutes if an injury happens. We also have a hole up front with Burns being moved back to defense. I'd suggest Stastny so we can keep Pavelski on wing, but who knows with you.

The Bruins choked a 3-0 lead once after Krejci's injury changed the complection of the series and won the cup the next year, and the Sharks can do it too. All you need to do is get over your fear of impact UFA's. You have the cap room thanks to all the hometown discounts(Something many teams would kill for). You just need to pull the trigger.

In the past few years, you signed extensions at a hometown discount to Ehrhoff, Michalek, etc, only to turn around and ship them out at a whim, making players demand no movement clauses and no trade clauses if they are to take a hometown discount. Now immediately after signing two of the greatest loyal players ever to wear Sharks uniforms, you want to force them out of their no movement clauses?

Hate to break it to you, but if you do this, your reputation is about to take a huge nosedive in all subsquent negotiations with anyone. Not that it will matter since you will lose your Job as fast as MOC did when he traded Thornton and nobody will ever hire you again.

A Message to Hasso Plattner the Sharks owner. If the hundreds of season ticket holders telling you on twitter they will not renew if you trade away their loyal favorite players is not enough for you to step in and make sure nothing rash is done, then maybe you should remember the 3000 season ticket cancellations the year the Sharks traded fan favorite Owen Nolan to Toronto.

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Would love to see that goalie graphic applied to a few goalies, see how Mason a few others would fare.


 Just food for thought, Owen Nolan was a mere facade of himself in his TO tenure, so maybe, just maybe fans loyalty goes beyond the business side of things....

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