“Panic” is the word being thrown around these days in relation to San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson. After a hot start to the 2013 season, the Sharks have fallen flat on their collective faces and are now clinging to the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
If they continue to struggle, this is a team that’s looking like they could opt for a bit of an overhaul. The “R” word, as in rebuild, is something the Sharks are hoping to avoid on a large scale. But a few big names could be missing from this roster after the trade deadline passes.
The big name that is likely going to be gone is Ryane Clowe. He’s not having a great year at all, from a statistical standpoint, but can still be an asset for a contending team. He can play the physical game and brings some offensive touch. He’s also a free agent this summer, so teams will probably be interested in him as a rental.
Another pair of potential short term players that contending clubs may want to take a look at are Michal Handzus and Douglas Murray. Handzus would make a nice addition to a contending team’s bottom six, for some extra center depth. Murray is also an unrestricted free agent this summer and would add some extra depth to a blue line for a contending team.
Those are guys that are almost sure bets to be gone, regardless of whether or not the Sharks can put it together. The likes of Dan Boyle or Martin Havlat could be gone as well, if the Sharks can get a nice package for them. Keep an eye on Joe Thornton as the Sharks will certainly get calls on him, but it may signal the full scale rebuild they hope to avoid.
The Sharks have a solid core in place. They have the likes of Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Antti Niemi, as well as Matt Irwin and Tommy Wingels in the fold for the future. So they aren’t going to tear it all down. But a few more weeks of struggling, and this is a team that could be without quite a few veterans come April.