While the San Jose Sharks are on the outside, looking in, at the 9th seed with 77 points — one below the 8th Colorado Avalanche – one may ask GM Doug Wilson, was it all worth it?
Were the rebuilding deals he made during last year’s offseason after elimination from the Western Conference finals practical?
Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi and Martin Havlat all went to the Minnesota Wild while the Sharks in return received Brent Burns, Martin Havlat and a second-round pick.
A point-by-point comparison shows the Sharks lose out in this deal so far, for this season. Although the second-round pick may, or may not, end up to be something valuable five years from now.
Heatley and Setoguchi have a combined 38 goals and 77 points for the Wild, though they have not turned around that team’s fortunes. Comparing numbers with those of the players San Jose received in return isn’t exactly fair, as Burns is a defenseman (a respectable 10 pals and 31 points) and injuries have kept Havlat out of all but 26 games.
Even while playing, Havlat was inconsistent, getting eight points in the first eight games but adding only seven more over the next 18. Still, with him in the lineup the Sharks are 16-7-3.
However, it’s the low-key guys not kept that may be hurting the Sharks’ chances.
Ian White, a right winger, was shipped to Detroit this season, and has 7 points and 23 assists in 65 games. With the Sharks, he had two goals and eight assists in 23 games.
Kyel Wellwood, a Shark last season and a Jet this year, has 15 goals and 25 assists in 67 games. He’s on pace to beat a career-best 45-point season he had with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005-06.
A lot of these players didn’t fit Wilson’s model for a playoff team. But, if the Jets are having success as Wellwood a piece of a puzzle that wasn’t expected to be built for a playoff run, maybe it’s the gritty third-liners that bring more value with lower expectations.
Perhaps, things wouldn’t be much different with Heatley and Setoguchi, and an injury-prone Havlat was to be expected, but perhaps blowing up a team that was simply outplayed one series away from the Stanley Cup Finals wasn’t the best move.
The Sharks will need to make a considerable challenging run of 10-5 to remain competitive for a spot in the playoffs.