Archive for the ‘San Jose Sharks’ Category

The Sore Thumb: San Jose Sharks

October 10, 2009


We asked our good buddies at the Couch Tarts:


All in-depth analysis aside, what flaw or weakness in your team sticks out like a sore thumb?

Nabby’s 5 hole.
Have you seen it? The thing is HUGE. You could drive a bus through there, I’m talking a double decker, not just your standard MUNI ride. Hell, it’s so wide open I bet even Ehrhoff could find it with his wrist shot. Dude wouldn’t even need a map. You know that tree they used to let people drive through? Yeah. It’s like that.
Nabby is a tremendous goalie, but if he can’t shut that 5 hole of his, we’re in for a lot of ugly goals this season.

(Make sure to follow the Couch Tarts for their great San Jose Sharks coverage this season.)

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San Jose joins Chicago in the "Now or Never Club"

September 13, 2009

The bleak salary cap future for San Jose and Chicago … without an anti-semite to save them
Should FTF go from “Fear the Fin” to “Fuck the Future”?
It’s tough to avoid that question with San Jose’s bold trade of Dany Heatley and a 5th rounder for Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and a 2nd-rounder. Certainly, it’s a smarter cap-based move than shipping Patrick Marleau to Ottawa because Patty M’s cap hit will dissolve after next season. Yet it begs the question: why exactly do the Sharks feel like the doomsday clock is approaching zero already?
Ever since the San Jose Sharks reached The Next Level after the Joe Thornton trade, the team kept getting older and older. The team seems to keep producing young talent, only to ship them out in favor of guys who – while often superior – are getting a little longer in the tooth.
Steve Bernier, Matt Carle, Michalek and many others have been shuttled out to make room for Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and other expensive veterans. Again, it hasn’t always been the wrong move but old over new is a trend that ultimately caught up with the Colorado Avalanche and might (evenutally? maybe?) catch up with Detroit.
Going forward, the Sharks have three extremely big contracts: Thornton ($7.2 million per year through 2010-11); Heatley ($7.5 million through 2013-14) and Dan Boyle (with his satanic $6.66 million through 2013-14). Now – don’t get me wrong – I’d rather shell out about $21 million for Heatley-Thornton-Boyle instead of wasting almost $13 million on the Cristobal HuetBrian Campbell shit sandwich.

After all, Heatley is absolutely the real deal. Anyone who thinks he will be a “bust” is allowing their (understandably negative) feelings get in the way of the fact that Heatley is absolutely one of the top five goal scorers in the league. He could genuinely flirt with joining Alex Ovechkin in the ultra-rare 60 Goal Club.

But what will become of San Jose’s depth?
Devin Setoguchi could be in line for a really nice raise if he puts up another feisty, 30-plus goal season. Joe Pavelski faces one more season in which he’ll be an underpaid gem, then he could see some really nice green. Even big contract guys like Evgeni Nabokov and Marleau will either need to be re-signed or replaced by comparable talent.
That being said, this trade makes Heatley an absolute top-10 fantasy hockey talent and re-establishes Jumbo Joe as a great guy to snag if you cannot get one of the Big Three.
It also will make San Jose one of the teams I’ll watch the most closely once the season starts. (Ah, the glories of Center Ice)
More than anything else, it’s going to be interesting as hell. Will the Sharks prosper from pushing all their chips to the middle of the table? Or will some bad metaphor gangsters break their knee caps after this Shaky Chemistry Gamble fails profoundly?
I can’t wait to find out.

The Last Person the Couch Tarts would want to see …

June 29, 2009

Most bloggers will break down why Move “A” and Move “B” would improve his or her team’s chances of success. But at CLS, we insist on being “different” by putting on black nail polish and asking odd questions.

Instead of focusing on positivity, we asked each blogger to name a player they’d hate to see their team add and also a player whose addition to a rival would just spoil their milk.

First up are the lovable Couch Tarts: frequent contributors to the blog, creators of adorable hockey related doodles and experts on the San Jose Sharks. Indian burns all around for those who ignore their blogging.

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

PRONGER! Do you know how happy we were when he went east? DW had the hots for him, and while we can’t ignore his skills as a player, no way in hell would we want former alternate captain elbows on the Sharks. Thank you Bob Murray for not wanting to move him within the division. Can you imagine regularly booing one of you own players? Ugh!

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

If the Ducks or Kings got the Sedins, we’d cry ourselves to sleep every night until next June. Swedish Wonder Twin powers activate! Power of…massive cap hit!

Actually, if signing them means that the Ducks/Kings can only afford to put the twins on the ice with some third rate untested goalie, we’re all for it. Three guys total on the ice for the opposition? How could we lose!

Yours from the Couch,

The Couch Tarts

Five Questions: Couch Tarts (Sharks)

April 17, 2009

(Our pals at Couch Tarts sent a Five Questions our way for the Sharks, so even though we’re not going wall-to-wall for the BoC at CLS, we at least will have a hearty bowl of preview soup for the two teams. Make sure to follow the saucy pairing as they follow the strongest San Jose team ever.)

What will your team need to do to beat the Ducks?

Gray: Brass knuckles. Someone needs to put Pronger and Perry in their place. Also, airbags for Nabby. When Perry tries to tackle him (and he will) the airbags will shoot out protecting Nabby in a comfy, airy bubble while Perry gets knocked back into the Stone Age. I’m also in favor of anti force field spray for whichever of the two Ducks goaltenders gets the start.

Mina: The Sharks need scoring from at least their top two lines. They need to make sure they keep their special teams playing the way they have been late in the season. But most importantly, they need to score even strength. They have not scored an even strength goal in goal in almost 3 games and that needs to change in order to secure victory.

They need to match the Ducks in physicality and make sure not to take any stupid retaliation penalties. While it’s true that the Sharks are benefited from a closely called series, they need to no panic if the refs let the Ducks play their game. The Sharks are big and powerful and they can stand up to any team in the playoffs. If they don’t let the Ducks push them around and have their scorers score, the series could be short. But it won’t.
What would need to happen for the Ducks to win?

Gray: Perry sits on Nabby and deflates him. Pronger’s elbows go on a rampage and take out half the arena, including fans in attendance.

In all honesty, the Sharks need to respond to what will likely be physical play from the Ducks. No sitting back, no getting beat by a few rough hits. Hit back and keep going. Also? Score more.

Mina: The Ducks need to play their game. By physical, create space for their scorers, and hope that the refs let the players play. A free-for-all series will help the Ducks to win. Both of their goaltenders can steal a series and the Ducks need that too. Even though they look different from the Cup winning team, they aren’t a long way off from that group. If they get scoring from all lines and keep the Sharks on the ice with physical play, they and their goaltenders can steal the series from the Sharks.

Fan Favorite

Gray: Sharks fans have so many people to choose from. From the loveable brick wall that is Douglas Murray, the ever puzzled and slightly worried Captain Patrick Marleau, to the awesomeness that is Seto. Not to mention JR, who has settled in well here and has a huge fan base in SJ. Shelley and his can of beans perhaps?

Can I say everyone?

I’d love to highlight some of our rookies, but I’m not sure which of the woo-sta Sharks will be seeing playing time. (Go McGinn!)

Mina: The Sharks fans love themselves some JR big time. Since arriving with the Sharks last season, he has been an injection of pride and passion into the team. Plus having a guy who has so much fun with every game gets the fans excited. I love myself some Doug(las) Murray and owe him $1 for every big hit that he gives (a promise that I made last year). But I have made no secret I would love to see Torrey Mitchell get into the game sometime during the playoffs. He is my favorite and the favorite of many of the ahem..younger girls. (I would rather see the Sharks win than see Torrey play though.)

Your team’s Goat-to-Be:

Gray: I think most people would choose Semenov, since he’s been the fans favorite whipping boy all season. But I feel kinda bad for the guy so, I’m going to say Semenov’s beard instead. His beard is an independent entity. It will take an important 2 minute penalty and cost the Sharks a goal.

Mina: Despite improved play from both of them, both Alexei Semenov and Christian Ehrhoff look ripe for goat hood. Semenov has had his issues: the glove of doom, being a teal traffic cone, and just all around looking like he doesn’t belong. But somewhere in the middle of the year, the Russian Bear really picked up his game has and has had some impressive moments. But the moment he takes a stupid and costly penalty, the fans will forget all that good work and remember the old Alexei.

And despite a career year (8G 34A), Christian has an amazing and terrible shot. Sometimes it hits the net, the goalie, or even goes in, but more often it goes somewhere miles from the net. If he continues to shoot wildly, he may hear some boo birds.
Top storyline:

Gray: The brutality that will be shown in this series. If the brawl at the end of the last regular season match-up between these two teams is any indication, this is going to be an MMA style match up.

Mina: Can the Sharks show the promise that they showed during the regular season and dispatch the Ducks in a manner befitting of the President’s Trophy winner? (In all honesty, I expect this series to go at least 6 or 7 as the Ducks aren’t really a typical 8 seed.)

Onus Brothers

April 12, 2009

Our amigos at Bangin Panger asked us to participate in their pre-playoff special, choosing one player per team who will make-or-break his squad’s fortunes. The first post features the No. 1 seeds San Jose and Boston, with my choices plus those of the two Bangin Panger dudes and also Reed CK from Capitals Kremlin. We’ll let you know when each one goes up.

Hope that you enjoy it and your Easter.

Coming soon: more Hockey Orphan, including an afternoon offering from the vaunted Puck Huffers. Keep your eyes peeled kids.

If you liked Hockey Orphan, you might like:

April 11, 2009

There have been a bunch of Hockey Orphan entries the last couple weeks, so we thought it would be a smart idea to point fans of the recently represented teams to posts that they might find interesting and/or entertaining.

Montreal Canadiens (
Written by HabsFan29 from Four Habs Fans)

Twinsies: How the Montreal Canadiens are the NHL’s version of the Boston Celtics

The Canadiens would be the most exciting matchup for the Boston Bruins

Columbus Blue Jackets (
Written by Bethany from Bethany’s Rants)

Chris Kontos thought the Blue Jackets would be the San Jose Sharks’ best dance partner


Florida Panthers (
Written by Whale4Ever from Litter Box Cats)

Who IS Jay Bouwmeester, anyway?

The Return of the Rat Pack

10 Things that are cool about the Florida Panthers


New Jersey Devils (Written by John Fischer from In Lou We Trust)

A post with a bunch of the Brodeur links

Comparing Brodeur to the Plantes and Vezinas of yore is a losing endeavor

Brodeur is voted the goalie of the aughts

Are Brodeur-type workhorse goalies a dying breed?

Remember when the hockey world was stunned that the Devils seemed like they didn’t miss a beat without Brody?

Philadelphia Flyers (Written by FGSB from Flyers Goal Scored By)

Salary Cap Outlook: Flyers

San Jose Sharks (Written by Gray from Couch Tarts)

Dance Partners: San Jose

Both teams have had their struggles, but it’s interesting that Boston – San Jose still might have been a Stanley Cup preview

***

Of course, there is also a bunch of content on all the Hockey Orphan teams in our trade deadline coverage as well.

Hockey Orphan: The Couch Tarts on the San Jose Sharks

April 2, 2009
(Click on Sleek’s logo above for all the Hockey Orphan entries)

So here you are, a lonely former sports fan with no recollection of your past life. Your friends are trying to stir your memories and lure you back into the fold, but you aren’t sure. There are other teams, other fan cultures to explore. Maybe you live someplace snowy and cold and yearn for sunshine. Sunshine, but not smog. Deserts aren’t really your thing and humidity is just the worst in your book. You X out the two southern California teams, ditch the desert dogs and go nova on the Stars. You settle you sights on the usually sunny, occasionally foggy, reaches of the south bay area. You pack your things and make the long (or short) trek to the south bay area in search of a new, teal life.

Magically, you find yourself walking the Teal Mile. It’s just before game time and the place is an explosion of teal and Thornton. You make a mental note to pick a more original jersey and follow the masses to your new home. The Tank rises like a beacon of light next to the Guadalupe River.* You enter the sacred building and walk in to find a writhing mass of fans and concession stands, Una Mas nachos and tasteless puck like burgers. You ascend to the upper bowl and find your place amongst kings. Here, in the upper reaches of the Tank is where the reputation of the loud and boisterous Tank is born.

Smelling the clean, fresh scent of “new fan”, a nice person takes you under their wing and leads you to your seat. How fortunate! You’re in 208! The perfect section to be introduced to the rituals of the Tank. Your mysterious guide hands you a pamphlet. In it you find a list of tips and important information for all Sharks fans.

1st (and foremost): Thou-est must not-ith lean-ith forward! NO LEANING!!

Denizens of the upper levels will raise quite a raucous if you lean forward during the game. We don’t pay to see the back of your head Mr. or Ms. New fan!

2nd: all must boo Pronger when he touch-ith the puck and must continually boo until it leaves his grasp.

3rd: If thou-est playing the Stars, thou must boo the word “star” in the National Anthem. Delicious sacrilege is at home here.

4th: If thou shall be sitting in 209 thou must arrive on time lest thou be subject to merciless taunts for the rest of the game. Also, thou shall be warned that 209 will yell “YOU SUCK” at the opposing team before the start of the anthem(s) and thou shalt be required to participate. 209 is the leader of the upper bowl and its traditions. Thou must follow the lead of 209.

5th: If at any time during intermission there is competition between the upper and lower bowl, thou must vote for the upper bowl. When the lower bowl wins a jersey, thou must complain about how they never give prizes to the “real fans” and that the lower bowl “can afford to buy their own jerseys.”

6th: Thou must hate-ith the following teams: Anaheim, Detroit, Dallas.

Thou may also hate-ith any of the other remaining teams as appropriate.

7th: Thou shalt worry endlessly when facing the Coyotes.

You look up as cheers erupt from the crowd. The team streams out of the smoking, glowing head of a Shark. How’s that for an entrance? You can look but you won’t find a better one anywhere in the NHL.

Suddenly it sounds like folks are booing? What’s this? Ah, they’re actually shouting “Cheeeeeeeechooooooooooooooooooooooooo” They take their train metaphors seriously here.

As you discover through dutiful observation as the period ticks by, Sharks fans are an emotional lot. They ride the ebbs and flows of the game as if they were a roller coaster. They are a passionate bunch, far better educated in the ways of hockey than most realize or give them credit for.

Cheers arise when bitter rivals are shown to have lost on the “out of town score board.” These fans know who is where in the standings, and who stands in their team’s way of greatness.

You feel overwhelmed and look back down at your pamphlet and read the following words of wisdom:

17,496. Get used to that number. It’s a sell out and you’ll hear it more often than not at games.

Yes, even here in sunny San Jose, fans stream in from all points of the bay to watch their beloved Sharkies. The Sharks have quite the following and a great deal of support from their fans both in and around the South Bay.

The buzzer sounds indicating your first period has come to a close. More time to consult your fandom pamphlet!

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies in the land of teal. Nay, there are some downsides to being a Sharks fan.

Despite the large and passionate fan base the Sharks have, the team remains one of the best kept sports secrets in the Bay Area. The lack of local coverage is astounding.

Second round taunts are common throughout the season. It doesn’t matter that the Sharks did, in fact, advance to the Conference Finals only to be defeated at the hands of the Flames in 2004. It’s all about those 3 consecutive second round eliminations.

Those three early bows have also left Sharks fans with a bit of a complex. They whine relentlessly if their team doesn’t win all 82 games. Come playoff time, it’s all woe is me and “we’ll never make it out of the second round.”, unless of course it’s, “this is our year!” and “nothing can stop us now!”

Sharks fans have a lot of pride in their team, and often take out their frustrations over not being taken seriously on the player/current position in the standings/Detroit/Ron Wilson.**

You will have to become used to hearing the following things:

not a real hockey market, it never snows there (ignore that the mountains surrounding the South Bay indicate otherwise), Californians don’t know jack about hockey, they shouldn’t have a team, they shouldn’t have three teams, all the fans are transplanted Canadians, the Tanks never sells out, no one there plays hockey, “disappearing Joe”, no heart…

It doesn’t matter that these fact aren’t true, you will hear them.

As the second period begins, you settle in. You feel welcomed in this new teal family and despite the downfalls, you’re going to stick it out. This seems like a good place. A season or two under your belt will only make it better.

*This is the Bay Area. It’s really more like a stream with mood swings.

** Only valid in the years 2003 through 2008.

(Thanks a bunch to Gray and the gang at Couch Tarts. Make sure to follow them and their great coverage of the San Jose Sharks.)

Bits and Pieces: Malkin’s ‘struggles,’ Ovechkin’s celebrations and falling giants

March 20, 2009
  • Boy, it sure is amazing how much a bad Stanley Cup Finals performance can hurt you.

Just ask Evgeni Malkin, the man who likely would have been “The Staal Trophy” winner last season with a 100-plus point performance in the regular season and a fantastic playoff run. Until the SCF, of course.

While Malkin clearly struggled against the Red Wings, his performance was slightly inflated by playing against some fairly weak Eastern opponents in previous rounds. The Penguins cruised through the playoffs (only two losses in three rounds!) so easily that they must have been shell shocked once they played against a team that was actually more talented.

Still, the idea that Malkin will lose Hart trophy votes because of last season is pretty stunning. It’s not like he has a small lead on Alex Ovechkin. Nine points is a tremendous lead.

But that’s a debate for another day. If people penalize Malkin for SCF struggles, maybe they should consider the fact that Ovechkin never even sniffed the second round of the playoffs yet.

  • Speaking of the anointed saint of hockey media, Ovechkin’s Jimi Hendrix goal celebration is getting some heat.

Frankly, for us it’s not really that he taunted his opponents. As fans of Ric Flair, we are huge fans of tormenting opponents as you defeat them (especially if you hook the tights).

No, instead, our biggest beef is that the celebration was kind of lame. If you’re going to do the Hendrix burning guitar gimmick, you really have to sell it. Kneel on your knees. Take off your gloves so you can really pantomime that “smoke coming from the stick” effect. Hell, get one of your teammates to find you an afro wig.

After all, Ovie never had any issues with using props, right?

While everyone can agree Ovechkin is awesome, it’s only fair that he gets a little cheap heat since people are always frothing at the mouth to tear apart Crosby.

  • So, the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks might not be the dominant forces – or at least not as dominant – as they were believed to be.

After holding a huge lead in the Eastern Conference, the Bruins are taking on water and may in fact relinquish the No. 1 spot to the New Jersey Devils or Washington Capitals. Injuries are wreaking havoc on the Sharks roster. When you combine that issue with an increase in road games, the mighty seem only strong.

The Bruins have the least to worry about, on some level. Let’s face it: this team was not necessarily primed to dominate just yet. There may be a lot of pressure on the Bruins to succeed, but this season should still be a success with or without a Cup. Of course, if they lose in the first round of playoffs, then that tune would change quite a bit.

The Sharks, on the other hand, must be wondering if their window is about to close. Although there are some great young talents in their nucleus, trading for Dan Boyle and signing Rob Blake made San Jose take a “win now” position. Sharks fans must be hyperventilating right now.

  • Finally, a lot is being made about the Montreal Canadiens having a plethora of unrestricted free agents, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The Habs can re-construct their roster next season, focusing on good value (and maybe a headliner or two) instead of their current “big talent, high speed, no heart” model.

With the cap ceiling becoming a serious question in the short term future, the Canadiens have a chance to build a winner while remaining cap flexible. This will be an envious position sooner or later.

Blogger GM vs. Real-life GM: Pacific Division

March 9, 2009

To wrap up our Trade Deadline coverage, we’ll take a look at the big moves (and non-moves) in each division one-by-one. Did our contributors and their respective GMs see eye-to-eye? Would those guest posts provide a better reality than what really came about? Let’s take a look at the Pacific division:

Real Life: San Jose trades away Kyle McLaren, also deal for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins.
Mr. Plank from Fear the Fin said:

Interesting possibilities across the board, but at the end of the day I say stand pat and go with the roster. You have the high profile stars in Thornton and Marleau, a second line that could be a top line on many teams in the league, depth, experience on the blueline, Cup rings, agitators and veteran leaders. The list honestly goes on and on.

The Sharks didn’t do anything significant, but did move around some supporting cast members. Let’s say, half-right Mr. Plank.

Real Life: Los Angeles Kings ship Patrick O’Sullivan to Edmonton in three-way trade that nets the Kings Justin Williams
Rudy Kelly from Battle of California said:

A guy like Kopitar, you see, he’s in the Center #1/A/Sec. 43-B box. That’s a good box. A guy like O’Sullivan, on the other hand, is in the 32-1=”Box O’Shame” box, so we’ll see where that goes.

Rudy called it … kind of? I think. Oh my God there’s blood coming out of my ears!

Real Life:For Derek Morris, Daniel “PIM” Carcillo, Olli Jokinen, M. Tellqvist and a third round pick the Coyotoes added:

  • Calgary’s 1st round pick
  • Philadelphia’s 2nd round pick
  • Buffalo’s 4th round pick
  • Peter Prucha
  • Dimitri Kalinin
  • Nigel Dawes
  • Scottie Upshall
  • Matthew Lombardi
  • Brandon Prust

Odin Mercer from Five for Howling said:

Olli Jokinen has done alright for us, but I’d trade him in a heartbeat if I could get a good deal for him. Also, I’d trade Jovanovski for a bag of pucks to get rid of that money and give it to Morris. Just take a look at Jason Arnott’s goal against us on 2/26 and you’ll see why I’m eager to do that. After the recent losing streaks, I’d just grab as many high level picks as I could since the playoffs are out of reach again. Which sucks! So long as we don’t go trading for players we don’t need just to dump money.

Well done, Odin Mercer!

Real Life: Ducks trade away Sammy Pahlsson, Travis Moen, Kent Huskins in a couple trades. Earlier on traded Chris Kunitz for Ryan Whitney. Brendan Morrison was claimed by the Dallas Stars. (Takes a breath) Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer stay in Anaheim.
Earl Sleek from Battle of California said:

Option A (not that silly):

— Anaheim Ducks trade Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, and Drew Miller to Buffalo for Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, and a 1st

(And some other silly stuff.)

Wrong. But who could have predicted all of those moves?

Real Life: Stars do nothing but claim Brendan Morrison from waivers
Brandon from Defending Big D said:

The Stars aren’t in trouble because their main lineup is bad, they’re in trouble because of some debilitating injuries some very key players. Ride out the season with what we have and hope for the best.

Correct! Well done, Brandon.

If you were the GM (Pacific division)

March 4, 2009

(With the trade deadline upon us, Cycle like the Sedins decided to ask about 30 or so friends in the blogosphere to represent his or her team and answer the question: “What would you do if you were the GM during the trade deadline?

Since things change in a heartbeat, the date of each person’s submission is listed next to each entry. So before you start screaming “BUT THEY TRADED HIM!” while food spills out of your mouth, we’re showing what they thought at the time.

Don’t like it? Psh.)

San Jose Sharks

Mr. Plank from Fear the Fin
(2/24)

If I’m Doug Wilson, I stand pat at the deadline unless I’m moving prospects (Lukas Kaspar in particular) for a UFA who can contribute with bottom line some scoring punch. Jonathan Cheechoo’s name is bound to be tossed around, but moving him this year would be a mistake in my opinion- he’s a solid third line winger who gives us scoring depth, and has brought too much to this franchise to deal in a year when the Sharks are poised to make yet another run for the Stanley Cup. The potential problem with the fanbase/locker room coupled with the fact that we probably wouldn’t be receiving a high-profile gamebreaker in return makes me leery of that type of deal.

The funny thing about the deadline however is that the Sharks might be in “read and react” mode. Detroit is still the team to beat of course, but the Sharks have held onto that top spot in the West for the entire season. If Detroit picks up a guy like Manny Fernandez/Vesa Toskala, do the Sharks react and try to add some depth and sacrifice a little of the future? Does Dous Doug Wilson join the Toronto firesale and add Nik Antropov? What if Dallas, Chicago, or Calgary makes a move?

Interesting possibilities across the board, but at the end of the day I say stand pat and go with the roster. You have the high profile stars in Thornton and Marleau, a second line that could be a top line on many teams in the league, depth, experience on the blueline, Cup rings, agitators and veteran leaders. The list honestly goes on and on.

But hey- DW has pulled a rabbit out of his hat before. That’s why we call him The Godfather.

Chris Kontos: Like Detroit, don’t mess with success. It’s actually good that the Sharks haven’t been as dominate recently as they’ve been all year… it reminds them that there is still the playoffs ahead. With Grier and Roenick out until the start of the playoffs the Sharks don’t need to pick up any veteran players (remember how well Bill Guerin worked out) and they should 100% keep Cheechoo around. That’s a not a bad player to have on your 3rd line for a Stanley Cup run.

James O’Brien: This team is as good as it’s going to get. Just suck it up, Sharkies.

***

Los Angeles Kings
Rudy Kelly from Battle of California
(2/28)

I’ll tell ya, the thing about the trade deadline is, the thing you need to understand, is that it’s all about boxes. You got your boxes and you can’t deviate from that plan. A guy like Kopitar, you see, he’s in the Center #1/A/Sec. 43-B box. That’s a good box. A guy like O’Sullivan, on the other hand, is in the 32-1=”Box O’Shame” box, so we’ll see where that goes. I could see us trading Erik Ersberg, although everyone knows the old saying, “The sands of time go only down,” so I don’t know if we’ll trade him. Denis Gauthier might also go, but he’s a Stallion so I don’t know if I want to part with him. And maybe we’ll trade for a gamebreaker, but only if he knows how to work from the backend, because, as we all know, “Eagles only fly in fair wind.” Plus, you know, the boxes.

-Dean Lombardi

Chris Kontos: Who cares about the Kings? That team SUCKS!(how awesome would it be if they pick up Ryan Smyth for a young defenseman/goaltender? I wonder what box of Lombardi’s that would fit in?)

James O’Brien: The Kings are a year away, so if they can stock up on a few more draft picks/prospects then so be it. As Rudy said on BoC today, they could also be interested in that no-name Russian guy in Hotlanta.

***

Phoenix Coyotes (no guest entry yet)
Odin Mercer from Five for Howling:

As GM of the Coyotes right now, I’d be in a tough spot. On one hand you’ve got a decent group that could use some better coaching quite frankly. Derek Morris would be resigned it whatever deal got the job done, but right now the Coyotes can’t be saddled with a big long term deal until they get their books in order. Olli Jokinen has done alright for us, but I’d trade him in a heartbeat if I could get a good deal for him. Also, I’d trade Jovanovski for a bag of pucks to get rid of that money and give it to Morris. Just take a look at Jason Arnott’s goal against us on 2/26 and you’ll see why I’m eager to do that. After the recent losing streaks, I’d just grab as many high level picks as I could since the playoffs are out of reach again. Which sucks! So long as we don’t go trading for players we don’t need just to dump money.

Chris Kontos: Sell. Sell. Sell. Sign Gretzky and Grant Fuhr to player contracts for the remainder of the season. Then sign Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Charlie Huddy and you have the makings of the 1990 Los Angeles Kings.

James O’Brien: I’d be against selling, but they clearly are in some kind of financial bind. So, sell away I guess *sigh*.

***

Anaheim Ducks

Sorry, Brett.
Earl Sleek from Battle of California (March 2)

Option A (not that silly):

— Anaheim Ducks trade Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, and Drew Miller to Buffalo for Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, and a 1st
Option B (a little sillier):
— Anaheim Ducks trade Scott and Rob Niedermayer and an embarrassing photo of Brian Burke to Vancouver for Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Brotherhood is preserved.
Option C (whatever):
— Anaheim Ducks trade Brett Hedican to the Anaheim Angels for the right to a few more parking spots.

Chris Kontos: This is an interesting one. New GM Bob Murray is thinking about the future… witness last weeks trade with the Penguins. And if he’s able to get the farm for Pronger… an amazing defenseman, but someone on the 2nd half of his career… I think you have to go for it, right?

James O’Brien: The Ducks are going to be really interesting to watch. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are one of the best bang for your buck duos in the league. Do they stick with veterans or go young? It’s looking like the latter, but who knows.

***

Dallas Stars

The Stars are clearly in able hands

Brandon from Defending Big D (March 2)

If I were Les Jackson and Brett Hull I would be resisting every urge possible to make a big splash on Wednesday. The Stars are in the midst of six game skid and are in grave danger of not making the playoffs.

n a city that craves success, especially from the Stars, the G.M.’s are to going to be feeling the pressure to do something, anything that would put them back in the middle of the playoff hunt. Yet the Stars must be careful to not mortgage the future of the team by giving up draft picks, prospect or young wingers just to find a temporary, soon to be unrestricted free agent solution.

The Stars aren’t in trouble because their main lineup is bad, they’re in trouble because of some debilitating injuries some very key players. Ride out the season with what we have and hope for the best.

Chris Kontos: They should get Avery back. This team has been in a tailslide since they made arrangements for him to go to New York.

James O’Brien: Just a real tough couple of breaks for the Stars. If I were their GM, though, I’d run a firesale on the veterans. Sergei Zubov is about to be an unrestricted free agent. Convince him to pull a Keith Tkachuk back-and-forth. Mike Modano? Keep him for the whole “lifetime player” thing. But Jere Lehtinen? Feel around. This team needs an injection of youth.