Sharks coverage on BOC has dropped off a little since the end of the season, and the fact that Northern California has essentially been on fire for 3 straight weeks does not appear to be a major factor. Drawing on a flaming Wild Wing and a thick low lying layer of smoke for inspiration, here is a short recap from Sharkspage of what has gone down in the land of cheap software and expensive offensive defenseman:
- Max Giese of Sharkspage posted a very thorough 2008 Sharks Entry Draft (ptII) review article, with contributions from several NHL scouts and a few comments by other draft related sources. The first part of the Sharks 2008 Draft Review written by yours truely is available here. Included in that post is a video clip of Darren Pang expressing shock that Phoenix Coyotes first round selection Viktor Tikonov spoke English. Yes, San Jose residents can occasionally be accused of speaking English.
- Free agent defenseman Brian Campbell signs 8-year, $56.8 million contract with Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers sign Patrick Rissmiller. Judas, thy name is Brian Campbell. One problem many fans in San Jose have with what went down is the fact that his departure was a foregone conclusion. Instead of feigning that taking $7+ million with Chicago, Atlanta or Ottawa was a difficult decision, acknowledge the fact beforehand and fans have more respect for you. Campbell is tremendously gifted with speed and skating ability matched by few defenseman in the NHL. He also basically evaporated against Calgary and Dallas in the playoffs. If you are brought in to spark the Sharks transition and move the puck on ice, and you consistently hesitate and take it back behind your own net, there are going to be questions. Major questions for Chicago next season: how effectively will he be on defense, will he transform the Blackhawks power play, and how well will a young team respond to Campbell in a leadership role.
- San Jose Sharks sign defenseman Rob Blake to 1-year deal adding a power-play quarterback, report Sharks are pursuing Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle. A number of Kings fans are noting Rob Blake's declining production over the last season. In San Jose he will play a much different role, as the Sharks will have three solid defensive pairings they can use in any situation. Blake will be counted on more to bomb shots on net from the power play than to provide a #1 defensive role. I have a feeling with Marleau, Thornton, Pavelski, Clowe, Cheechoo and Michalek fighting for rebounds, Blake's numbers are not going to look too bad after 2008-09.
- Veteran defenseman Craig Rivet traded to Buffalo for 2009, 2010 2nd rounders. This is a trade that had to be made for salary cap considerations, but one that nobody likes north of the grapevine.
- Dan Boyle, Brad Lukowich, and Sharks general manager Doug Wilson discussed the recent trades on a conference call with local media.
- Sharks Trade Analysis: Blake, Boyle and Lukowich add missing pieces of the puzzle for Sharks power play and playoff problems. A lot of words essentially boil down to the fact that Boyle could have a bigger impact in San Jose than the brief Campbell experiment, and Rob Blake is the type of proven veteran who has been there and done beat up a lot of Anaheim Ducks.
- Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff signs 3 year, $9.3 million contract. This shores up a large chunk of the Sharks blueline for the foreseeable future, but salary cap issues could force a trade for Kyle McLaren. The future beyond Rob Blake is also a little less clear with Matt Carle, Ty Wishart and a 1st round draft selection headed to Tampa. AHL rookie Derek Joslin should be next in line, and will take more of a leadership role in Worcester this season. Hard hitting Boston College fresheman defenseman Nick Petrecki, who won a National Championship this season, remains as the Sharks top overall defensive prospect. The Sharks may need him to regulate at HP Pavilion before the end of his four year run in college.
- Sharks hire Stanley Cup winning Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Todd McLellan to be the 7th head coach in San Jose franchise history. Some fans were a little irrated at the lack of questions asked by the media at the press conference, there is a hand held 6 minute video of McLellan answering questions from the AP's Greg Beacham, a local television reporter, and from Tony Khing of the Sharks included in that post. One rumor has Trent Yawney as a possible assistant coach.
That is all I have for now. War Sandis Ozolinsh for President.