Wilson takes responsibility for plan not working, Marleau on waiving no-trade clause, list of injuries
Posted by David Pollak on April 24th, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Going out with a flourish and a three-posting day. No 24-hour period on the entire hockey calendar produces more verbiage than this one, year in and year out, regardless of where things wind up.
We’ll get to most of that as the third posting, but right now wanted here’s the story for the print edition — and online, shortly — that Mark Emmons and I cobbled together. It’s a more complete version of the previous posting here, plus a look at some of the other issues facing the Sharks this off season.
And I’ll draw special attention here to a quote from Patrick Marleau. After he was finished talking with the full media scrum, I asked him if he would consider waiving whatever no-trade/movement clause exists in his contract if the Sharks told him an opportunity presented itself elsewhere.
“We’ll cross that bridge if it ever comes up,” Marleau said, leaving a little wiggle room.
Anyway, we’ll get back to what Marleau and other players had to say in the next posting, but here’s a preview of Wednesday’s print edition story:
General manger Doug Wilson pointed a finger directly at himself Tuesday for the Sharks’ shortcomings.
“I take first responsibility. The plan, the pieces that we put together, didn’t work,” Wilson said in his first public comments since the season ended. “Did we get everything out of this team? Did we have a successful season? The answers would be no on both of those counts.”
Three days after the earliest exit in franchise history from a postseason for which they barely qualified, the Sharks were fielding questions about what went wrong and what comes next.
The ultimate answers about job security for Wilson and coach Todd McLellan won’t arrive until sometime in the next week. By then, the general manager said, he expects to confer with team owners after individual meetings with players and the coaching staff that follow every season.
Until then, while Wilson talked about his faith in and respect for McLellan, the general manager stopped short of guaranteeing his coach would be behind the bench next season.
“I believe in Todd. I think he knows this game. But there are some things where we will all sit down and where we have to get better,” Wilson said, a clear reference to San Jose’s beleaguered penalty kill.
Earlier, McLellan said he expects to be back, but acknowledged he and Wilson had not yet discussed the subject.
“I’m very confident in what we do, I’m very confident in the coaching staff and I firmly believe the players believe in us as a group as we believe in them,” McLellan said.
Once the top decisions are made, the Sharks can begin to retool a team that fell far short of Stanley Cup expectations.
How deep into the team’s core those changes can cut may be limited by no-trade clauses in several contracts. But one player in the spotlight for the team’s post-season failure showed at least a hint of flexibility.
“We’ll cross that bridge if it ever comes up,” Patrick Marleau said when asked if he would be open to exploring other options if approached by the general manager.
Defenseman Dan Boyle acknowledged there was a window opening in his no-movement clause, but stressed that he did not want to be playing elsewhere in the future.
“I don’t even want to think about that. I don’t want to go anywhere,” said Boyle, who turns 36 in July and led the team in minutes played.
Both Wilson and McLellan put the team’s penalty kill at the top of their list of things in need of repair. The Sharks were 29th in the NHL short-handed and their 76.9 percent success rate dropped even further to 66.7 percent in the playoffs.
“That impacts your game in a big way” that goes beyond opposition power play goals, Wilson said. “You can’t be aggressive and that’s a part of our game.”
Despite the team’s step backward, the general manager defended the off-season deals that brought defenseman Brent Burns and forward Marty Havlat from the Minnesota Wild.
“The year before, Burns ran wild like a wild stallion. I think he was better this year than before. I think his game is going in the right direction and I think he’s going to be a stud,” said Wilson of the defenseman whose point total and hits dropped considerably. “We gave up a lot to get him, but that’s based on supply and demand.”
Injuries kept Havlat out of 43 games and he was a streaky scorer, but Wilson noted that without the winger, “we had guys playing roles that they weren’t ready for.”
The general manager said the two February deals that brought Dominic Moore, Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi were a result of the team’s poor play on the nine-game road trip in which they went 2-6-1.
“We had to change something because we’re not about to surrender. If we don’t change something, we’re not about to make the playoffs,” Wilson said. “I think those players helped us at a time we needed to do something.”
But in a season when the Sharks had nine new players in their post-season lineup, the team took a step backward.
*****A second story in tomorrow’s paper details the injuries disclosed today. Only the shoulder injury to Logan Couture mentioned in the previous posting requires surgery at this point, though that could change. Here are the others:
Joe Pavelski, who needed an injection for an injured foot, had a thumb ligament ailment and a knee ligament problem.
Also hurting were: Brent Burns (abdominal discomfort), Ryane Clowe (groin strain), TJ Galiardi (lower back), Michal Handzus (groin strain), Doug Murray (groin strain), Colin White (shoulder) and Tommy Wingels (shoulder).
Wilson also said Clowe had dealt with a concussion earlier this season.
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Wilson takes responsibility for plan not working
Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:10 AM
Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:11 AM
The job security of Sharks GM Doug Wilson and coach Todd McLellan won’t be known until likely sometime next week. Patrick Marleau on if he’d be open to exploring other options if asked: “We’ll cross that bridge if it ever comes up.” Dan Boyle said there was a window opening for his NMC but he said he doesn’t want to think about it or go anywhere. Logan Couture requires shoulder surgery at some point. Joe Pavelski was getting injections for his foot and had a thumb ligament and knee ligament issues. Brent Burns had abdominal discomfort, Ryan Clowe had a groin strain, TJ Galiardi had a lower back issue, Machal Handzus had a groin strain, Doug Murray had a groin strain, Colin White and Tommy Wingels had a shoulder injuries.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:12 AM
Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:50 PM
Jesus... thats a lot of injuries.
It very much explains why Pavs wasn't able to do much when they needed him most. Also explains why Logan seemed to take a step back this season. Clowe seems to have a reoccurring issue with his groin though.
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