Why NOT rebuilding now is the right move for the Sharks (in real and fantasy hockey)
There have been infinite discussions regarding what the San Jose Sharks will do this summer, with the majority of experts tending to think it's time for Doug Wilson to dismantle the veteran core and start a rebuild. But will they blow things up, or stick with the status quo?
So far the team has already traded Dan Boyle's rights to the Islanders. An even easier step is in process, with Martin Havlat on his way out. But the big question is deciding whether or not Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will ever lead the team to a Stanley Cup. Chances are the answer is no; but considering that only three teams have won the past five championships, it's not like San Jose is the only team in the league to suffer disappointment over the past decade.
It is important to remember that the Western Conference is tough; and despite underachieving in the playoffs, there is a silver lining as the Sharks have made the postseason for each of the past 10 years. While it may seem to be the right time to rebuild, a closer look suggests that the Sharks are a top team that is only a few pieces from a championship.
Here are three reasons why the Sharks should stay the course.
Los Angeles Dominated Everyone
If the glass is half empty, well then the Sharks choked and blew their three games to none lead before stepping aside to watch the Kings roll to another Stanley Cup. If the glass is half full, then San Jose is looking at itself and realizing that for a three game stretch, they were the one team this postseason to completely dominate the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
San Jose outscored the Kings 17-8 in the first three games of round one before the series flipped, with the Sharks being outscored 18-5 over the final four games. But San Jose was not the only team that failed to deliver a knockout punch to LA.
Before winning the Cup, the Kings deserved to lose the first two games to the Rangers and trailed during games most of the series before finding ways to win. Anaheim had the Kings on the ropes and carried a 3-2 series lead before losing the final two games and bowing out in seven. And the Chicago/Los Angeles series was a classic as well, with the Hawks' having their share of chances to send the Kings home in game seven of that series; but the Kings somehow prevailed yet again.
While the rationale for blowing the team up and moving core pieces Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau runs deeper than this year's shortcomings, to only reference the team's failure against Los Angeles this year while ignoring takeaways from its initial success during that series would be a huge mistake.
There is no question the Sharks would survive offensively if both Thornton and Marleau waived the no trade/movement clauses that came with their newly signed three year deals; but it is also safe to assume that the team would be taking a step back unless they traded these high end players for similar players in return.
There is little question that Logan Couture is ready to step up and that the Shark