Sharks

Sharks mailbag: Is GM Doug Wilson's job in jeopardy due to poor play?

Sharks mailbag: Is GM Doug Wilson's job in jeopardy due to poor play?

The Sharks are in a precarious position.

San Jose has played 50 games and needs about 50 points in their final 32 tilts to have any chance at the playoffs. It’s becoming a difficult scenario to envision.

You gave me some pointed questions via Twitter & Instagram, and here are the best responses:

Instagram @hockeysteez: Is Doug Wilson’s job in jeopardy?

I guess we’re jumping right into the deep end of the pool? I don’t think many feel terrific right now as it relates to job security. Wilson included. At the same time, I’m a huge proponent of giving him the absolute opportunity to re-orchestrate the franchise.

From about 2015 to 2019, he was on a roll of surprise acquisitions and team-friendly extensions. He wheeled some big pieces into place, and if there is more heavy lifting required during the next 6-8 months before next season begins: I’d like to see Wilson’s experience at the helm to make it happen. I have zero reservations about that as a first option.

Twitter @tk408: Who are they considering for permanent coach?

Placing the interim tag on Bob Boughner was certainly strategic, but I also believe he’ll definitely be at least considered for a long-term solution after this season concludes. The cards were stacked against anyone taking over under the circumstances Boughner did on Dec. 11. At the same time, no “honeymoon period” occurred, and the team has just six wins in five weeks since the coaching change.

The next three months are a showcase for Boughner, just as it is for so many players. Some big name bench-bosses will likely be available this summer, including Mike Babcock and Peter Laviolette. They would come with a stiff price, and likely a significantly different edge than Boughner, Pete DeBoer, or even Todd McLellan did.

Instagram @ace_portraits: Would trying to find a new goalie or starting Aaron dell at the beginning of the year have made a difference in our season?

In short: no. Team defense has been an Achilles heel to a varying degree in San Jose all season. Complicating the matter: Martin Jones and Aaron Dell did not have great starts to the campaign, either. We’ve clearly seen Dell emerge to prominence and Jones decline in the last six weeks, but to say either one (or neither) could have drastically impacted the journey is a stretch.  

Twitter @apadilla24: Even though there’s been rumors saying that “core” players will not be traded do you see a big shake up like trade happening?

Only because the Sharks face tight spots in their struggles, and the salary cap, logistics alone would suggest there has to be at least one “wow-factor” maneuver to create more personnel options. “Shake-ups” can occur at different magnitudes, and while it’s probably accurate that small-level changes probably won’t manifest the desired effect, wholesale changes probably aren’t the wisest right now either.

Twitter @talking7: Does there seem to be a lack of team chemistry with the Sharks?

The inconsistency of results this season probably confirms that. It’s an interesting dynamic where, on paper the roster is littered with proven talent, and experience, and productivity. Nobody expected this kind of storyline back in September, and rightfully so. I’m not suggesting there are personal issues here, only the ability to thrive together on the ice. San Jose appears to have all the ingredients to cook, but sometimes the main courses just haven’t come out right.

Twitter @srosenthal13: Is it time to start cycling up the guys from the Barracuda to see who looks good?

Unfortunately the Barracuda are uncharacteristically struggling this season too. And one the worst things that can happen for an emerging hockey player is premature exposure to the NHL. So long as San Jose doesn’t face too many injuries, the only “right time” to bring up AHL players is when they are truly ready … not just for experimentation or evaluation purposes.

[RELATED: How faceoffs plagued Sharks on road trip]

Twitter @WaffleHater22: Do we trade Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton so they can have a chance to hold the Cup?

This is a doozy. We were enthralled by the storybook return of Patrick Marleau. And inspired by the resilience of Joe Thornton, after overcoming two knee injuries that easily could have ended his career. Saying goodbye under present terms would be difficult, but maybe keeping them would be selfish. If Marleau or Thornton were desired by a Stanley Cup contender and were agreeable to the transaction … then I’d only see it as a proper professional courtesy by San Jose.

NHL rumors: Sharks trade Barclay Goodrow to Lightning for first-round pick

barclayus.jpg
USATSI

NHL rumors: Sharks trade Barclay Goodrow to Lightning for first-round pick

While the Sharks held on to Joe Thornton, the Sharks reportedly made a last-minute deal with before Monday's NHL trade deadline. 

David Pagnotta reported Monday that the Barclay Goodrow has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman confirmed the report. 

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, along with Pagnotta, are hearing San Jose will be getting a first-round pick in return from Tampa Bay. 

The Sharks went into the deadline without a first-round pick. 

Goodrow, 26, forever will be remembered as the hero who scored the game-winning goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of their first-round series last season. He has scored a career-high 24 points this season -- eight goals and 16 assists. 

Goodrow has 71 points over 268 career games. The Toronto native has scored 26 goals and 45 assists as a Shark. 

More to come ...

NHL rumors: Sharks' Joe Thornton not traded, will remain with San Jose

NHL rumors: Sharks' Joe Thornton not traded, will remain with San Jose

After weeks of speculation that he might be moved elsewhere, Joe Thornton reportedly was not traded by the Sharks prior to Monday's NHL trade deadline, meaning the 22-year veteran will finish out the season with San Jose.

With the Sharks in the midst of one of the worst seasons in franchise history, general manager Doug Wilson wanted to give his veterans the opportunity to pursue the Stanley Cup elsewhere if they so desired. San Jose's trade of Patrick Marleau to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional 2021 third-round draft pick earlier Monday was made with that intention in mind, and several teams reportedly had interest in Thornton, as well.

However, both veterans had no-movement clauses in their contracts, and had to approve any trade.

[RELATED: Before being drafted by Sharks, Marleau rooted for Penguins]

The 40-year-old Thornton has appeared in all 62 games for San Jose this season, scoring four goals and 23 assists. He might not be scoring at the rate he once did, but he still is clearly capable of being a productive bottom-six forward.

Though Thornton will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2019-20 campaign, another season with the Sharks can't be ruled out.