Wilson improves Sharks without blockbuster move


Wilson improves Sharks without blockbuster move

The hints that the Sharks would be idle at the trade deadline came in tiny but perceptible waves. Doug Wilson kept getting asked about players being moved out and he kept talking about players coming back in. They talked trades, he talked health.And even for someone who hates the idea of playing with his media friends during trading season, he was unusually coy.But after a road trip so wretched that Todd McLellan being hit in the head by an opponents stick could be considered a high point, the suspicion that Wilson was fibbing about his teams activity remained strong.

And in the end, it was or seeing his coach get clocked caused him to sit up and take notice. Either way, the Sharks made serious moves on Rick Nash and James Van Riemsdyk before pulling off a deadline deal that netted them two seemingly useful pieces in Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi from Colorado in exchange for Jamie McGinn and prospects Michael Sgarbossa and Mike Connelly.RELATED: Sharks made deadline deal with Avs (21 comments)
Winnik, who likely will take McGinn's spot on the third line, and Galiardi, who likely becomes a right wing on the fourth line, would be regarded as immediate help for a team that hit E on their recent road trip, but Wilsons seeming disinterest in the market was in fact seeming.According to multiple sources, he worked with the Flyers to strike a deal for Van Riemsdyk, the 22-year-old left winger, and also tried to convince the Blue Jackets to talk Nash without including the name Logan Couture. But when those didnt happen (neither Van Riemsdyk nor Nash moved), Wilson scrambled to do the Colorado deal, beating the deadline by about an hour.Winnik, who makes 950,000, is an unrestricted free agent with penalty killing skills who was a more dynamic player when he was with Phoenix. Galiardi, who is 22, makes 700,000 and is a restricted free agent. Colorado had wanted to package Winnik and Galiardi separately, according to sources, but couldnt make both deals work and therefore settled for the group play San Jose offered.When Dominic Moore, the checking winger from Tampa Bay, is put into the trade mix, the Sharks have essentially changed half their third and fourth lines, and still have Martin Havlat expected to come off the ouchie list in two weeks. In short, the Sharks tried to make big moves, acknowledged that this wasnt the market for that made medium-sized moves, and are hoping that lots of tweaking can substitute for one big splash.The one big splash was largely prevented by the roster and talent logjam. After you remove the untradeables (Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle, Michal Handzus) and the ungettables (Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns and eventually Joe Pavelski), there wasnt a lot to love here. Lots of journeymen, a hunk of undertested youth, and not a lot of marketability.That he got what he did for McGinn, having his best year, and two prospects, of which Sgarbossa is considered the superior of the two, is actually not a bad score at all, but it is not the seismic move that he apparently sought, nor does it change the central core.So these San Jose Sharks, the ones you saw just endure the Bump-In-The-Head road trip, are the ones you will white-knuckle into April.Indeed, after years of being the popular off-brand Cup pick, the Sharks have been supplanted as media darlings by Nashville, which acquired Paul Gaustad from Buffalo and Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal.But San Jose has now changed itself at the edges again, as they have in deadline days past, and theyll find out starting Tuesday if theyve relocated their fizz.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

As Joakim Ryan returns home, Sharks reunite with a former top prospect


As Joakim Ryan returns home, Sharks reunite with a former top prospect

When Joakim Ryan suits up in his first NHL road game against the New Jersey Devils Friday night, he’ll do so in a familiar place.

Ryan, a New Jersey-born Swede, played for the Devils’ youth program and nearby Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in high school. In fact, he’s already played at the Prudential Center, skating in the state championship game with CBA in 2009.

He’s not the only one due for something of a homecoming, as the Sharks may see a familiar face line up on the opposing blueline.

This is the Sharks’ first matchup against New Jersey since trading 2013 first round pick Mirco Mueller ahead of June’s Expansion Draft. Mueller was once considered the future on the San Jose blueline, a smooth-skating defenseman with size to boot.

The Swiss defender never fulfilled his potential, in part because his development was rushed from the start. He made the NHL roster as a rookie in 2014-15, almost by default. Other than Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the only defensemen ahead of him on left side of the depth chart were a far past-his-prime Scott Hannan and regular scratch Matt Irwin. Such was the nature of the Sharks’ “step back” that year.

Mueller finally got regular playing time, albeit in the minors, during his second professional season. By then, he was pushed down the organizational depth chart by the team’s acquisitions of Brenden Dillon and Roman Polak, and the development of Dylan DeMelo. David Schlemko’s signing last summer kept Mueller there for most of 2016-17, but it was Ryan and Tim Heed that ensured Mueller’s NHL future would lie elsewhere. The Swedes surpassed him, and emerged as perhaps the AHL’s best defensive pair in the process.

It’s fitting, then, that Ryan and Heed will be in the lineup tonight, and Mueller may not, as the fresh start he needed hasn’t quite panned out. He’s averaging a career-high 18:44 in ice time, but has been scratched in three of New Jersey’s seven games, including Thursday night’s overtime win in Ottawa.

So Ryan comes home to New Jersey under much happier circumstances than Mueller will reunite with the Sharks. One prodigal son returns, and the other is simply trying to save face.

It’s still early in his Devils tenure, of course, and Mueller may yet emerge as a regular on the New Jersey blueline. His Sharks reunion, though, will serve as a reminder of what once was, what could have been, and what is now San Jose’s future on defense.