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.