Skip to content

‘I want players that want to play here, not just live here,’ says San Jose GM

Jun 2, 2014, 10:36 AM EST

65102_sharks_blake_retirement_hockey-dougwilson

Interesting stuff from Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News:

It was a 12-word mini-manifesto, offered in a staccato bite for maximum impact.

“I want players that want to play here,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told me, “not just live here.”

That was pretty much all Wilson chose to say in our phone conversation last week, and really, it was all Wilson had to communicate.

When he said the words, I actually stopped and asked if he meant to say what I think he just said.

So Wilson repeated: “I want players that want to play here, not just live here.”

Boom. Wilson, dropping the hammer. Though to be fair, it’s easy to see what he’s talking about.

In terms of desirable locales, hockey players are hard pressed to find one better than San Jose. It’s affluent, the weather’s nice, the fanbase is loyal and enthusiastic (Sharks have played to at least 97 percent attendance for the last six years) and the organization treats its players pretty well. The team literally rolled out the red carpet for Owen Nolan’s retirement ceremony in 2012, and Nolan made himself a staple in the community after leaving the organization in 2003 (he owns a bar in the city.)

So is there a bit of a “country club” atmosphere in San Jose, perhaps? Sure, and that’s likely what Wilson is getting at. There’s the all-too-real possibility he and the coaching staff feel complacency has crept into the dressing room, where the likes of Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have resided for 16 and eight years, respectively.

If this offseason has taught us anything, it’s that Wilson and owner Hasso Plattner aren’t pinning the team’s lack of playoff success — and this year’s opening-round collapse to L.A. — on the coaching staff or front office. Following the Kings defeat, Plattner opted to follow Wilson’s advice for patience and retained head coach Todd McLellan, extended the contract of associate coach Larry Robinson and also kept assistant GM Joe Will in the fold.

So, changes coming to the San Jose roster?

Sure sounds like it.

Latest Posts
  1. David Backes ejected after boarding, bloodying Karl Alzner

    Feb 1, 2015, 2:27 PM EST

    bloodyalzner

    St. Louis killed the five-minute major.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Blues at Capitals

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:47 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

    Watch some hockey before a certain big game.

  3. End nearing? Lightning waive Nabokov

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:39 PM EST

    Evgeni Nabokov, Ben Bishop AP

    Andrei Vasilevskiy gets recalled in his place.

  4. Sens’ Methot may not ever top what he did yesterday

    Feb 1, 2015, 9:37 AM EST

    Marc Methot Chris Terry AP

    A big hip check and three assists from the defenseman.

  5. Video: Niemi robs Toews, Sharks hang on to beat the Blackhawks

    Feb 1, 2015, 1:41 AM EST

    Antti Niemi AP

    Got a little help, too. Quick whistle on Toews chances.

  6. Video: Bickell crushes Hannan, physical play picks up in San Jose

    Feb 1, 2015, 12:07 AM EST

    Bryan Bickell Getty Images

    No call. Got a little testy out there after that hit.

  7. Rask, Bruins complete January with impressive victory against Kings

    Jan 31, 2015, 11:17 PM EST

    Tuukka Rask Getty Images

    Boston maintaining their hold on a Wild Card spot.

  8. Leafs scoring slump hits historical low

    Jan 31, 2015, 10:23 PM EST

    Phil Kessel AP

    Maybe February will be better?

  9. Oilers’ Hall (bone bruise) to sit out versus Flames

    Jan 31, 2015, 9:44 PM EST

    Taylor Hall Getty Images

    Battle of Alberta isn’t what it used to be.

  10. Video: Rangers’ Lundqvist takes puck to the neck

    Jan 31, 2015, 8:57 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 5.47.56 PM

    Scary moment, but he has stayed in the game.

Featured video

Kings come back in third to top Blackhawks
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (3846)
  2. T. Hall (3144)
  3. S. Crosby (2916)
  4. C. Price (2749)
  5. P. Rinne (2740)
  1. M. Brodeur (2655)
  2. M. Richards (2414)
  3. K. Letang (2291)
  4. K. Okposo (2278)
  5. P. Hornqvist (2085)