At this point, it’s become an annual spring tradition to dissect what went wrong with the San Jose Sharks. This is a franchise that has recently assembled several teams that, on paper, looked like Stanley Cup contenders, but never measured up.
The Sharks, to their credit, have constantly tried to reinvent themselves in an effort to win that elusive Stanley Cup. Since their failed 2008 run, they’ve parted ways with coach Ron Wilson, Evgeni Nabokov, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Campbell, and Devin Setoguchi. Meanwhile they’ve added Dany Heatley (who they later traded), Stanley Cup winner Antti Niemi, Dan Boyle, and Brent Burns, to name a few.
They’ve managed to restructure without rebuilding, but it hasn’t worked. Does that mean that even more dramatic steps needed?
Mercury News writer Tim Kawakami said that, while he doesn’t blame Patrick Marleau, he thinks it’s time for him to be traded. Here’s an excerpt from his column:
The Sharks want peace and harmony, they promote the calmer nature and warmer spirit of hockey-dom in the Bay Area, and Thornton has turned into their leading ambassador for all that.
Marleau, though, has become emblematic of the flip side: If not much is always demanded, maybe, when the heat is turned up against tougher teams, not much is always produced.
In other words, the Sharks need a culture change and trading Marleau might be a step in that direction.
It’s worth noting that while Marleau was held pointless during the Sharks’ brief 2012 playoff run, he hass done significantly better in the postseason in the past.
Marleau comes with a $6.9 million cap hit and is inked through the 2013-14 campaign. He also has a no-movement clause. That’s not to say that the Sharks can’t trade him if they want to, but they shouldn’t expect equal value in return.