San Jose Sharks: Seven Trade Ideas Before the Deadline

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Jan 2, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild win 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Conference has seen 12 trades in  the past 96 hours, 3 within the division, and 5 more within the conference, The Kings acquired a top four defenseman in Andrej Sekera from Carolina, and the Ducks acquired a third line forward in Jiri Sekac from Montreal while giving up a similar player in Devante Smith-Pelly. In a separate transaction, Anaheim also acquired Tomas Fleischmann from Florida.

The Winnipeg Jets, who are currently competing with the Sharks for a wild card spot, acquired a second line forward in Jiri Tlusty also from Carolina, and the Minnesota Wild got forward Sean Bergenheim from Florida. The Blackhawks received defenseman Kimmo Timonen in addition to making a minor league deal. The Blues also made a minor league deal.

With all of these moves being made by teams competing with the San Jose Sharks within their division or for the wild card, you would have to think that the Sharks are going to need to make a move or two of their own before the March 2nd deadline.

The flurry of transactions raises two big questions: One, will the Sharks be buyers or sellers? And two, will Sharks’ General Manager Doug Wilson finally make a significant move at the deadline?

The answer to number one is simple — the Sharks will be buyers. They are right in the thick of the wild card race and they can’t afford to be sellers at the deadline if they have any hope of making the playoffs. They will likely dangle some of their upcoming unrestricted free agents as trade bait. Those players include Antti Niemi, James Sheppard, Tyler Kennedy, Scott Hannan, Andrew Desjardins, Matt Irwin and John Scott.

The answer to number two is just as simple — yes. If Wilson wants to keep his job, and quite frankly the small number of fans who still support him, he needs to make a trade or two to impress Sharks owner Hasso Plattner that involve more than just Scott Hannan and Raffi Torres — the two players acquired at 2013 trade deadline.

Doug Wilson believed that his team at the trade deadline last year was fine as constructed and decided to stand pat rather than shake things up. It was a well received decision at the time, but quickly fell victim to intense scrutiny thanks to their seven game, first round exit last year.

Wilson has made a move this season flipping defenseman Jason Demers to Dallas for defenseman Brenden Dillon. Well technically speaking, in a separate move, the Sharks also got goalie Evgeni Nabokov from Tampa Bay as well.

This article will show you seven players the Sharks should target in the next four days.

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