Is The 2013 Season Make Or Break For The San Jose Sharks?

By Randy Holt
Patrick Marleau
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing you can count on year in and year out, it’s the fact that the San Jose Sharks will very likely fizzle out by the time the playoffs roll around. Each year, regardless of how deep they’re able to go, the Sharks always seem to crash and burn at some point during the postseason.

Which is why the franchise is headed for a key season in 2013-14. This year is going to determine whether or not things stay the way they are in San Jose, or if this current core, and perhaps even the front office, ends up getting blown up and they head into something of a rebuild.

It’s tough to say that a team with as much talent as the Sharks employ would enter a full rebuild. It’d likely be something more “on the fly”, rather than blowing it all up and starting from scratch. Still, if the Sharks are unable to put it together and make a deep run that at least results in a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, one has the question the status of some of their veterans.

Players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau could be gone. Each are unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, and are getting up there in age. Heck, if the Sharks are out of the playoff hunt around the trade deadline, they may not make it through that point with the team. But their respective careers in San Jose could be determined by the results of the 2013-14 season.

Todd McLellan was on the hot seat coming into the summer, after a first round exit, but was able to retain his spot behind the bench. If the Sharks are unable to perform in the playoffs again this year, he could be looking for a job. Perhaps Doug Wilson, the general manager, could as well.

It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out for the San Jose Sharks this year. A deep run could keep things as they are. But if they fail to produce in the playoffs, as they’ve become so known for, it could lead to the departure of not only multiple veterans, but some in the front office and behind the bench as well.

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