Sharks GM Doug Wilson has had one thing in mind during this tradeline; get younger and faster.
Well I’ll tell you what, as both a writer and a fan, he has definitely made all the right moves. We can go into depth about the trade deadline as a whole, and I am sure that is coming, but for now we will break down the biggest trade so far.
First, the official trade was Ryane Clowe going to the New York Rangers for a 2nd rounder, a 3rd rounder and another conditional pick. The conditional pick can be a 2nd rounder if Clowe either re-signs with the Rangers or they get through two playoff rounds. With the Rangers on the outside looking it, albeit only two points out in 9th, we might not know by the end of the season.
While this trade was not the original asking price of a 1st round pick and a prospect, the price had to go down once Clowe was not willing to do a sign-and-trade or immediately sign some sort of longer deal once he was dealt. I would say for a rental player who might only play 13 games (if the Rangers do not make the playoffs) the 2nd and 3rd round picks alone were a great move. That conditional pick is just icing on the cake. Chances are pretty decent at this point though that he chooses to re-sign with New York during this offseason.
The immediate impact is quite clear; the Sharks now have 5 of the top 61 picks in the draft and Wilson’s goal of getting younger is pretty clear. Also, by stockpiling draft picks in what is considered a very, very deep draft he is planning for the future of the team and trying to build some continuity once guys like Thornton and Marleau move on. Do not be surprised if San Jose uses a couple of picks to move up in the draft as well.
The other immediate change will be in the lineup where the Sharks made the biggest sacrifice. Their top six gets weaker and San Jose loses a lot of grit. Whether he scored or not his physical presence was always felt and that is irreplaceable, especially in the playoffs. Also, San Jose has had problems this season scoring as it is and losing Clowe will not help. It’s not like Clowe has been putting up the numbers either, but he has looked better in the last week. However, I feel it was a small price to pay (13 games + possible playoffs) to help the team tremendously in the long-term.
Also, credit Doug Wilson for willing to work with Clowe to seek out potential suitors, a move which I assume made it much easier for Clowe to lift his no-trade clause. Both parties were going in different directions after negotiations for an extension failed and in the end were able to help each other out. Again kudos to Wilson, but also Clowe for taking the classy route and recognizing when his time with the team was over. After all, this is a business and the team has to be treated as such.
I wish Clowe the best of luck in New York and hope he can show the rest of the NHL that he does in fact have more left in the tank than he showed this season. I do think he has it in him and perhaps the change of scenery is all that he will need. Clowe, thanks for everything and good luck playing at ‘The Garden’.