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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    Hurricanes give Di Giuseppe a two-way deal for 2017-18

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    The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Phil Di Giuseppe to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday.

    The team announced that Di Giuseppe’s deal is worth $725K at the NHL level and $125K in the AHL in 2017-18.

    Di Giuseppe, 23, was the 38th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft. He’s been getting some looks at the NHL level with Carolina:

    2015-16: 17 points in 41 games
    2016-17: seven points in 36 games

    He’s also been splitting time between the AHL and NHL lately, so a two-way deal works well enough.

    Carolina doesn’t have much more to do on the free agent front, but that doesn’t mean that their off-season is wrapped up, as there’s still that whole ownership situation to settle.

    Habs president Molson pens glowing farewell letter to Markov

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    Another bold move by GM Marc Bergevin, another statement from Montreal Canadiens president/CEO Geoff Molson.

    However Molson actually feels about the franchise’s decision to let Andrei Markov leave for the KHL, he provided quite the goodbye letter regarding the 38-year-old defenseman. One can’t help but wonder how Molson feels about Montreal’s overall makeover, whether you believe Mark Streit is really “replacing” Markov or not.

    Anyway, that will need to wait. In the meantime, here’s the very kind statement from Molson to Markov:

    “On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Andrei for his great contributions during his 16 seasons as a proud member of the Montreal Canadiens. Arguably one of the best defensemen in franchise history, Andrei was a model of dedication to the great game of hockey. A respected figure around the league and among his teammates, Andrei demonstrated leadership both on and off the ice. Andrei’s commitment to our franchise was second to none, proven by his overcoming three serious and potentially career-ending injuries. I would like to wish Andrei the best of luck in the next step of his career, and happiness with his family.”

    Speaking of Canadiens all-timers, Larry Robinson had plenty of nice things to say about Markov, too.

    Related

    Markov, Habs officially part ways.

    Markov is headed to the KHL.

    Sabres re-sign Eichel’s buddy Rodrigues for two years

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    The Buffalo Sabres might have signed Evan Rodrigues back in 2015 in part because he enjoyed so much success as a college linemate with Jack Eichel at Boston University, but the undrafted forward seems like he’s making a case that he’ll be a part of their future in his own right.

    The Sabres handed Rodrigues a two-year deal that is two-way in 2017-18 and one-way in 2018-19. Whenever he’s at the NHL level, it’s worth $650K per season.

    Rodrigues debuted in 2015-16, scoring a goal and an assist in two games. He managed to play in 30 regular-season contests for the Sabres last season, collecting six points.

    He’s shown quite a bit of improvement at the AHL level, in particular. After collecting 30 points in 72 games for the Rochester Americans in 2015-16, he scored 30 again in 2016-17, although he only needed 48 contests to do so. Rodrigues isn’t quite Matt Moulson to Eichel’s John Tavares just yet, but it’s possible that he might at least develop into a regular NHL player.

    Buffalo’s work isn’t done for the summer just yet, as RFAs Zemgus Girgensons and Nathan Beaulieu still need deals.

    Andrei Markov opts for KHL after saying goodbye to Canadiens

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    Andrei Markov wanted to play his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens. With that option officially off the table, Markov announced that he’s headed for Russia and the KHL.

    “I didn’t see myself with any other NHL team,” Markov said during a conference call wrapping up his lengthy stay with the Habs. “I didn’t see myself wearing another jersey.”

    (At least not the jersey of another NHL team.)

    The 38-year-old also noted that he hasn’t closed the door to a return to Montreal. That makes sense since it seems like it was largely the Canadiens’ decision to part ways with Markov, essentially replacing him with Mark Streit at a heavily discounted rate.

    Beyond the comforts of home, Markov was almost certainly motivated to play in the KHL because of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

    The veteran blueliner did not mention which KHL team he’ll end up playing for. There were some rumblings that Markov might sign with the Florida Panthers, but that turned out to not be true.

    If it’s a one-year deal, a return to the Habs is at least feasible in 2018-19. Considering his age, it sure seems like this is the end of Markov’s lengthy run with the Canadiens, though.