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Sharks are ‘having a bit of a nervous breakdown right now’


Irishjim
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Jason Brough

 

Jun 19, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT

 

 

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The San Jose Sharks might be the most intriguing team of the NHL offseason. And that says a lot, because there are a lot of intriguing teams out there. But here are just a few of the things we’re wondering about San Jose:

Does general manager Doug Wilson really believehis 111-point squad needs a rebuild? Or, is it just a way to force Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleauto waive their no-trade clauses and move on? Because 111-point teams that come within a game of eliminating the Stanley Cup champs don’t typically need to be torn down.

Also, how much of what Wilson is saying has to do with the Sharks’ first-round loss to the Kings — a series San Jose led 3-0 — and how much has to do with the club’s financial picture?

 

Heck, how much of this is just Wilson’s anger and embarrassment talking?

Whatever the answers to those questions, columnist Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News thinks the Sharks might be “having a bit of a nervous breakdown right now, under financial and competitive pressure.”

 

The revamping of the roster has to happen because the Sharks can’t hold back all re-tooling just for that one Cup run when they’ve finally concluded that their most famous guys aren’t destined to lead anybody to a Cup.

Also, behind the scenes, it has been presumed for a few years now that the Sharks will be seeking a new arena very soon to replace SAP Center, which is almost always sold out and is a fine place to see a game but just doesn’t have the mega-revenue-generating features of the new wave of buildings.

 

I’ve heard for a while now that there is room in Santa Clara near Levi’s Stadium for a hockey arena and that there might have already been some informal conversations about the Sharks’ situation.

The Sharks are also reportedly trying to renegotiate their local TV deal, their financial losses, despite a passionate fan base and strong attendance figures, being nothing new. Fortunately, the club has an owner in Hasso Plattner with extremely deep pockets. And while the business may lose money on operations, franchise values of sports teams have skyrocketed in recent years.

Anyway, the latest rumor has Thornton interested in joining the New York Rangers, and only the New York Rangers.

We have a feeling it won’t be the last Sharks-related scuttlebutt of the summer.

Edited by Irishjim
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  I don't think Shark fans or Wilson are putting things in the proper perspective. They were the first victims of the eventual Stanley Cup Champs. Sure, the way it happened, being only the 4th team ever to choke away a 3-0 lead, that is cause for alarm. It was an historically brutal first round loss. But, this was an 111 point team in the regular season. I think letting go of Nemi would be a HUGE mistake. Don't let this one series dictate his Shark future. Some clear thinking is needed here, despite his total implosion in this springs playoffs.

 

 His stats did slip last year, 2 years ago he was seventh in the NHL with a .924 save %. Last year he was a pedestrian .914 tied for 29th in the league. So, there was obvious regression there. His GGA was 18th in the NHL last year, checking in at .239. Despite being 18th, you can do a lot worse than allowing less than 2.5 goals per game. His totals from 2 years ago, .219....a full .020 backstep, that part is concerning also.

 

 I don't know enough about the Sharks game in and game out to adequately describe if Nemi had a better d in 2013 compared to the 2014 model. I just think the talent is obvious, and he should be given another kick at the can. We *know* that if he has a good team in front of him, he can win the Cup....he has little tidbit in his back pocket, which should not be casually excused, the guy knows what it takes to win.

 

 A big part of today's NHL is the shootout. The bast 2 years Nemi has been 1st and 2nd in goalie wins in the shootouts. What would the Sharks season have been like if Nemi was not so spectacular in the shoot out, they might not have got home ice advantage had they not had Nemi standing on is head during this glorified skills competition.

 

 It is more due to the Sharks mobile defense than anything else, but the Nemi faced no penalty shots in 13 and allowed one goal on one penalty shot last year. That is a tribute to the Shark d-men not panicking and not allowing man odd man rushes to necessitate that type of penalty.

 

 Nemi had 4 shutouts 2 years ago, finishing 4th in the leauge. Last year, he had the same number, 4...but slipped to 11th in the league. A sure sign that shutouts were up league wide last year.

 

 How about discussing the most important stat for goalies, just pure wins. Nemi was 3rd in the strike shortened season with 24 wins, and was had a stellar total of 39 wins, good for 2nd in the league. If the let go of Nemi, where are the wins going to come from?  Which rookie or prospect would step in and provide those kinds of totals? Sometimes the grass is greener is a real thing. The Sharks are still very close, if they can manage to get younger by trading an aging (but still very valuable and productive), they may be very close.

 

  You don't trade a goalie like this, especially when you factor in some say he is only worth a 3rd round pick right now, in a goalie saturated market. The return makes so no sense for a guy as valuable as Nemi. I loved the way Stalock played when called upon, but nobody knows if this kid is legit starting material. I'm thinking this team is one more legit scorer and a few more mobile d-men away from really challanging, so ripping this team apart makes no sense to me. It was a tough loss to the Kings, but damn.....let's put this in perspective.

 

 This is a big year for Anti, he is in a contract year, his deal pays him 3.8 mill for this coming year, then he goes UFA. There is no harm to take him back, let him play lights out with literally millions on the line, then make a decision after Christmas. A few goalie go down on contending teams and WHAM, Nemi is worth a 1st rounder. This patience also allows you to get better looks at Stalock, or other goalies in the system.

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  I don't think Shark fans or Wilson are putting things in the proper perspective. They were the first victims of the eventual Stanley Cup Champs. Sure, the way it happened, being only the 4th team ever to choke away a 3-0 lead, that is cause for alarm. It was an historically brutal first round loss. But, this was an 111 point team in the regular season. I think letting go of Nemi would be a HUGE mistake. Don't let this one series dictate his Shark future. Some clear thinking is needed here, despite his total implosion in this springs playoffs.

 

 His stats did slip last year, 2 years ago he was seventh in the NHL with a .924 save %. Last year he was a pedestrian .914 tied for 29th in the league. So, there was obvious regression there. His GGA was 18th in the NHL last year, checking in at .239. Despite being 18th, you can do a lot worse than allowing less than 2.5 goals per game. His totals from 2 years ago, .219....a full .020 backstep, that part is concerning also.

 

 I don't know enough about the Sharks game in and game out to adequately describe if Nemi had a better d in 2013 compared to the 2014 model. I just think the talent is obvious, and he should be given another kick at the can. We *know* that if he has a good team in front of him, he can win the Cup....he has little tidbit in his back pocket, which should not be casually excused, the guy knows what it takes to win.

 

 A big part of today's NHL is the shootout. The bast 2 years Nemi has been 1st and 2nd in goalie wins in the shootouts. What would the Sharks season have been like if Nemi was not so spectacular in the shoot out, they might not have got home ice advantage had they not had Nemi standing on is head during this glorified skills competition.

 

 It is more due to the Sharks mobile defense than anything else, but the Nemi faced no penalty shots in 13 and allowed one goal on one penalty shot last year. That is a tribute to the Shark d-men not panicking and not allowing man odd man rushes to necessitate that type of penalty.

 

 Nemi had 4 shutouts 2 years ago, finishing 4th in the leauge. Last year, he had the same number, 4...but slipped to 11th in the league. A sure sign that shutouts were up league wide last year.

 

 How about discussing the most important stat for goalies, just pure wins. Nemi was 3rd in the strike shortened season with 24 wins, and was had a stellar total of 39 wins, good for 2nd in the league. If the let go of Nemi, where are the wins going to come from?  Which rookie or prospect would step in and provide those kinds of totals? Sometimes the grass is greener is a real thing. The Sharks are still very close, if they can manage to get younger by trading an aging (but still very valuable and productive), they may be very close.

 

  You don't trade a goalie like this, especially when you factor in some say he is only worth a 3rd round pick right now, in a goalie saturated market. The return makes so no sense for a guy as valuable as Nemi. I loved the way Stalock played when called upon, but nobody knows if this kid is legit starting material. I'm thinking this team is one more legit scorer and a few more mobile d-men away from really challanging, so ripping this team apart makes no sense to me. It was a tough loss to the Kings, but damn.....let's put this in perspective.

 

 This is a big year for Anti, he is in a contract year, his deal pays him 3.8 mill for this coming year, then he goes UFA. There is no harm to take him back, let him play lights out with literally millions on the line, then make a decision after Christmas. A few goalie go down on contending teams and WHAM, Nemi is worth a 1st rounder. This patience also allows you to get better looks at Stalock, or other goalies in the system.

I disagree on Niemi. But only because I have watched him play every playoff game since he came into the league. I have zero confidence in him, and I am not just on his case because of the current playoff failure. I was hating on him right after the Blues series.

 

Chicago defensemen, when they swept the Sharks, protected the crap out of him by making sure shots were low by varying means. The reason being, he is incredibly bad on high shots. Every goal we scored in that series came from 18 inches above the ice(All 7 of them).

 

In San jose, he has just been backbreaking to us. A momentum killer who let's in routine saves. His puckhandling skills are so bad it makes me nervous any time he goes for a puck because he usually gives it to the nearest opposing player. He plays it like a bouncing grenade. He has poor rebound control and his lateral movement is about as good as Dan Boyle's current reflexes.

 

Yes he has a lot of wins and a cup ring in which he was not even 10th best player on the team, but Niemi to me is like Toskala.

 

I am unbelieveably pleased in Stalock and want him as #1 going forward. But the rest of the team does not need to be blown up. In fact, had Vlasic not gone down, it was lights out for the kings IMO. Worst possible player who could go down for us went down.

 

You could see it in the play that the Players felt more confident in Stalock as well. Before that implosing from the goal that should not have been allowed, the team looked the best it did since game 2.

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Heck, how much of this is just Wilson’s anger and embarrassment talking?

 

I really like San Jose. We will take Marleau of you hands. Seriously, as much a I like San Jose, they have to be the biggest chockers in the world when it comes to the playoffs. I can not think of another team that has chocked more than them. 

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I really like San Jose. We will take Marleau of you hands. Seriously, as much a I like San Jose, they have to be the biggest chockers in the world when it comes to the playoffs. I can not think of another team that has chocked more than them. 

 

I hate chockers almost as much as I hate chokers...almost... :P  :D  :P

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I hate chockers

 

I hate to say it, but as verbose as I can be, I kept on looking at that spelling and knew it was wrong but for the life of me could not figure out the correct spelling. Talk about brain cramp. 

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I hate to say it, but as verbose as I can be, I kept on looking at that spelling and knew it was wrong but for the life of me could not figure out the correct spelling. Talk about brain cramp. 

gazzo was just being a71930e9ea00a94c6a695b59e1441fc3cf451d3ab

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this article by Paul Stewart today on the importance of character. I thought it was very blunt and honest and on the mark. There's a particular few paragraphs on Joe Thornton that rang true.

 

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Paul-Stewart/NHL-Draft-Character-Counts/196/60928

 

One of the qualities in a player or an official that I cannot emphasize strongly enough is their character. I value that as much -- and sometimes even more -- than God-given talent. When considering the make-up of a roster, I want as many character players as possible and certainly want that in a leadership group. 
 
I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, because I have known him for many years and think he's a likable guy, but I have to say this because it is my heartfelt assessment: For all his natural gifts and stats, Joe Thornton is an example of someone who is NOT a character player. I think his teams' lack of postseason success is partially attributable to having him at the crux of the leadership group. 
 
Thornton, to me, has always lacked that winner's mentality of being driven to success and sacrificing whatever he needs to in order to attain it. He has always been a player who is just as content to go along his merry way. I don't mean that he has to throw things or mope for weeks when his team loses. I mean that he doesn't have that fire in his belly that drives him to push himself even harder to make a tough loss into a motivator to win. 
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