Sharks GM Doug Wilson: "You can't keep everybody."

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson spent a good amount of time with the
media today, discussing this past season, the playoffs disappointment
and the outlook for the team moving forward. Specifically, a lot of the
focus was on the high number of pending free agents and what the team is
looking to do with their roster this summer.

Tim Kawakami of the
San Jose Mercury News has
the full transcript
of the interview up on his blog, so please stop
by and check it out. Wilson was about as forthcoming as you might
expect from a general manager, but he did give some hints as to the
direction the Sharks will take with their approach when it comes to
these free agents.

Here are some highlights:

I think we’re proud of what this group has accomplished in the last
year. I think it has been a big step for this organization.

Certainly not satisfied with where we’re at, but I think there’s a
lot of things that took place in the dressing room as an organization
that puts us in a position now to understand not only what it takes but
how we need to approach things.

This is a theme among the players this year, and it seems it’s the
theme with the coach and the team as well. The Sharks are happy with
what they accomplished and compared to prior seasons they felt they can
walk away and actually feel a bit proud of what they did.

Unfortunately, the Sharks have five straight seasons of high
expectations followed by never come quite close enough to complete
triumph. I know that getting to the Stanley Cup is one of the hardest
accomplishments in sports, but the Sharks made wholesale moves, sweeping
roster changes in one last attempt to do what they couldn’t before.
They failed, although it just wasn’t as bad as it was before.

I don’t normally allow people to talk about their former
organizations, but Todd has seen that first-hand in Detroit. You can’t
keep everybody under this system.

You have to decide who, how, when… that is the part of this business
under this system that you have to deal with.

Several times during the press conference Wilson alluded to the fact
that under the salary cap it’s near impossible for the Sharks to keep
everybody. He praised a number of players, almost seemed like Patrick
Marleau is a priority and singled out guys like Scott Nichol. He also
spoke to the current trend of teams finding success with younger,
lower-priced goaltenders, so it seems that as of now it’s highly
unlikely that Evgeni Nabokov might not be returning next season.

There’s almost no way that the Sharks bring back every free agent on
the team, but it’s also important to think that the Sharks might be
looking to change the dynamic of the team as well. That means bringing
in new players, younger players and perhaps looking for some changeover
on the roster. The Sharks will not only be trying to keep the players
they want to, and stay under the cap but also allow themselves the room
to add whoever they feel would help the team.

Wilson did not speak as a GM of a team that will be going to a bit of
a ‘rebuilding’ year, despite the amount of change their might be. The
Sharks expect to be right back in this position next season, hopefully
this time they’ll be playing in the Cup finals.

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    Bruins make short work of Coreau one game after he out-duels Price

    TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 1:  Jared Coreau #31 of the Detroit Red Wings holds his head after a Toronto Maple Leafs goal during the third period of the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic at BMO Field on January 1, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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    Sports almost always have a “What have you done for me lately” feel to them, but the ups and downs can be especially cruel to an NHL goalie. The margin between a great performance and an early night on the bench can often be quite small.

    Take journeyman goalie Jared Coreau of the Detroit Red Wings for example.

    The 25-year-old generated three wins and two shutouts in his past four games. That most recent shutout came as he out-dueled Carey Price in a 1-0 win for the Red Wings. Sure, he only needed to stop 18 shots, but he won a staring contest with Carey Price.

    Now, on Wednesday, Coreau couldn’t even get through the first period against the Boston Bruins.

    Coreau allowed three goals on eight shots and was pulled after 8:50 of game time, giving way to Petr Mrazek.

    Now, not all of this is on Coreau. Boston just keeps hammering away, and they finally got to Mrazek late in the first period. Even so, it was a tough go for Coreau, and a reminder of just how tough that gig can be.

    McKenzie: Blues, Shattenkirk are open-minded about discussing a trade

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    Earlier today, PHT discussed that something seems “off” about the St. Louis Blues. Might they slip enough to justify trading high-scoring (but pending UFA) defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk?

    Hockey insider Bob McKenzie covered a variety of interesting issues on “NHL Live” on Wednesday, including the feeling that both Shattenkirk and his team seem more “open minded” about considering a trade.

    Since Dec. 11, the Blues have gone 7-8-1, giving them a 23-17-5 record overall. That’s not disastrous by any means, but St. Louis has grown to expect robust regular seasons (and dreams of bigger playoff successes), so somewhat middling results might make them more willing to move an expiring contract.

    If the slippage continues, McKenzie reasons that the Blues would become that much more willing to listen to offers.

    Circumstances also might make Shattenkirk a little more interested in a deal, too.

    While McKenzie notes that Shattenkirk rejected the idea of signing a contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers, possibly spurning a move, the blueliner would be more amenable to a “trial run” this season. That could mean with the Oilers or another team – maybe a Canadian one? – that could use a puck-mover.

    Does that mean that a trade is on the verge of happening? No, not necessarily, but it does hint that the team and player would at least consider a wider array of possibilities.

    In other words, feel free to dream up all sorts of imaginary trade scenarios. Oh, and what the full video for more.

    More from McKenzie on “NHL Live”

    The murky situation for the New York Islanders.

    Is Paul Maurice on the hot seat for the Winnipeg Jets?

    Finally, discussing the possibility of a Shane Doan trade:

    Isles GM Garth Snow on coaching search, Tavares and who calls the shots

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    During Wednesday’s edition of “NHL Live,” NBCSN’s Liam McHugh asked New York Islanders GM Garth Snow many of the key questions surrounding the organization following the firing of head coach Jack Capuano.

    It’s interesting stuff, even if Snow managed to play coy on some of the bigger questions … or, to use his phrasing, “remain quiet” and keep much of the process “behind the scenes.”

    Snow cited the team’s mediocre record in explaining his decision to fire Capuano (but also recent breakthroughs to praise Capuano and explain that the Islanders are surrounding John Tavares with the kind of talent that will make him want to re-sign with the organization). To some extent, some of the most interesting parts of the interview came in what Snow didn’t say, as he gives the impression that he’ll need to run his decisions by the team’s ownership group.

    Let’s run through a few of the issues Snow addresses, though you should watch the video either way:

    Gallant

    He mostly avoided that issue, hence keeping things “behind the scenes.”

    Interim head coach Doug Weight

    “Doug Weight’s our head coach. “He’s had a tremendous career as a player and behind our bench the last several seasons … he has a familiarity with players and the players have familiarity with him.”

    Tavares

    Snow didn’t provide anything new here, emphasizing that Tavares loves playing in front of their fans and other common points.

    Who makes the decisions?

    McHugh pressed Snow on whether or not he has the final say on a coaching hire and other issues. Snow didn’t really specify, insisting that “the days of dictatorship are gone.” It sounds like ownership will have plenty of say in big decisions.

    ***

    The Islanders play their first game with Weight as interim coach on Thursday, as they take on a team in a different form of upheaval in the Dallas Stars. The table’s set for the Islanders to at least save some face; they finish the month of January with six straight home games.

    Now, the longer-term future, including Snow’s own job security? That’s anyone’s guess, as NHL insider Bob McKenzie discussed here.

    Video: McKenzie on the unclear future for Gallant, Weight and the Islanders

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    NHL insider Bob McKenzie stopped by NBCSN’s NHL Live on Wednesday for a really interesting session on the New York Islanders. If you want some fascinating tidbits, the video above is full of great insight … but you might be just as confused as ever about the direction of the franchise.

    (Probably because the Islanders give off the impression that they’re confused, too.)

    Let’s break down some of the more intriguing material:

    • In one eyebrow-raising point, McKenzie said that the Islanders may have gone one step further than asking for the Florida Panthers’ permission to speak with Gerard Gallant. The Isles might have even done so weeks before they fired Jack Capuano. Wow.
    • Even so, that doesn’t guarantee that Gallant will be their future head coach. McKenzie deems that a “long shot” for now and notes that nothing is imminent.
    • Instead, “what you see is what you get,” which means that Doug Weight may serve as interim head coach for a healthy chunk of time. The situation seems in flux overall.

    Weight seems fine with whatever, as ESPN reports.

    “I’m going to give everything I have, whether it’s five games or 40 games or if it turns into 10 years,” Weight said.

    • Maybe most importantly, McKenzie said that more sweeping changes could come to the Islanders organization this summer. One could imply that GM Garth Snow is in a vulnerable spot, something PHT discussed after Capuano’s firing.
    • Also, Gallant could be in the running for the coaching gig in Las Vegas.

    So, yeah, that video above this post’s headline is absolutely worth watching. The NHL Live crew also provides some insight about the Islanders’ struggles and future direction, so check it out.

    … And stay tuned. More twists and turns could be coming in this story.