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Wilson explains the ‘rebuild’ in San Jose

Jul 11, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

Doug Wilson AP

When hockey fans hear the word “rebuild,” they usually think of a team like the Edmonton Oilers. Haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. Three first overall picks in a row from 2010 to 2012. The plan in Edmonton was to be bad, and rebuild a winner through the draft. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, but that was the plan.

That’s not the plan in San Jose, according to general manager Doug Wilson. But make no mistake, the Sharks are still rebuilding.

“I can understand when people say there are different types of rebuild,” Wilson told the Mercury News. “We’re not going to finish last to try and draft people first or second. This is not something this franchise can do, because we already have some good players in key positions. You’re not going to see us with 50 points next year — we’re too good a team for that.”

Instead, Wilson says the Sharks need to rebuild their culture and become a more tightly knit group — a plan that includes giving more leadership and team-building responsibilities to young players like Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun.

Where that leaves veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau is, of course, the big question. Both have no-movement clauses and don’t want to leave San Jose, where they’re under contract through 2016-17. But Wilson has made it clear — perhaps in an attempt to convince them to accept a trade — that they’re not priorities anymore.

“The rebuild is committed to,” Wilson said in June. “The players that fit for now and the future, their growth is going to be the primary thing.”

Related: McLellan doesn’t rule out stripping Thornton of ‘C’

  1. rmccleary97 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Yeah, Wilson’s not rebuilding the team in the sense that “we’re going to finish last to try and draft people first or second.” Apparently, he’s going to rebuild as in “find new and exciting ways to not win the Cup that we haven’t done in the last 10 years, but still allows me to be GM of the team.”

    • skr213 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Blah blah blah. Wilson bashers with no actual suggested plans are worthless. Please educate us all on your amazing GM skills and tell us what he should do?

      • dreadpiratesteve - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Not sign perennial big game underachievers to extensions before the playoffs with full no move clauses?

        The message those contracts sent by being given at that time was “what you guys have done in big games has been A-OK”.

        Then act shocked and disgusted when the team pulls one of the most epic playoff collapses in recent memory.

        Then wring your hands an make open-ended and impotent comments about “rebuilding”.

        Then backtrack on those comments when it becomes clear those players have no intention of leaving.

        I’m no GM nor do I pretend to be but that strategy is just laughable. I cannot imagine there is much respect for the GM in that locker room. There certainly isn’t much among its fans.

      • rmccleary97 - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        Goaltending – get a new one. Niemi is showing that the Cup win in 2010 was a situation where he merely had to be competent behind a dominating squad, and he’s not capable of carrying a non-juggernaut team to 16 wins in the postseason. (Note: the Sharks are not a juggernaut team.) Stalock probably isn’t any better, but at least he’s cheaper. Options: Ryan Miller (sorry, he went to Vancouver – probably not going to get you 16 wins either, but he’d instill more confidence), Jonas Hiller (oops, he went to Calgary), Craig Anderson (maybe not any better than Niemi, but given his hot/cold career play, this is the ‘hot’ year – and if he fails, he does it for $700K less and is also gone at season’s end), James Reimer (same as Anderson, except the ‘this is his hot year’ part).

        Forwards – dump one of Thornton or Marleau. (Oh, wait – you handed them NMC’s and let them get fat and comfortable in the area. Oops!) Deal Pavelski? 40-goal scorers don’t grow on trees – plus he generally shows up in the playoffs. (Though if you’re ever going to sell high, this is the time to do it; see below.) $1.3 million for James Sheppard is a waste. $2.35 million for Tyler Kennedy is an even bigger waste, unless you’re going to play him with Thornton and Marleau (which is the only way he comes close to justifying that contract). Adding John Scott and Mike Brown and Michael Haley isn’t depth, unless “let the opposition skate around us for shifts on end” is in the game plan this year. Options: David Booth (may never get back to 20 goals and 40 points, but if you’re trolling the FA bin there’s worse guys to spend money on), Lee Stempniak (also in the FA bargain bin; probably good for 15-20-35 for another season or two – you just have to figure out which 2-3 months of the season it will happen in), Evander Kane (OK, this would be a huge shakeup – but why not? He’d be locked up for 4 years, and would be a huge add to the top-6; probably costs picks and prospects or something as big as Pavelski … but if you’re going for it short-term and long-term, …)

        Defense – it’s great that you’ve got a pair of 7th round picks and an undrafted FA in your defense, but when the defensemen you’ve drafted in rounds 1-6 going back to 2006 have played fewer NHL games (27) than a guy you took in the 5th round in 2005 did for your team (53 with SJ, 116 total), “we’ve got a really good defense” is not the first thing that comes to mind. Also doesn’t help that you’re spending $5.8 million per on Burns to be a defenseman … or a forward … no, he’s a defensem – er, he’s a forw- … um, they’ll figure it out later. Suggestions (beyond “learn how to develop a defenseman with a mid-high pick more often than once in 10 years”): deal with Philadelphia (probably for Gustafsson or Grossman), deal with Boston (Boychuk – though this may cost a little more), hope and pray guys don’t remind you why they were taken in the 7th round or not a tall, hope that Hannan doesn’t turn into a petrified corpse one night while out on a shift.

      • skr213 - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Ha! You wanted DW to sign Miller??? Wow. That’s all I need to know about your “prowess” as an armchair GM. Thank you and goodnight.

      • dreadpiratesteve - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

        The award for the laziest rebuttal ever goes to…


        Jesus man, that was the reply equivalent of “your mom”.

      • skr213 - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        Miller is the biggest choker in high pressure situations. So you idiots think it would have improved the team to sign another player who can’t perform when it counts??? You’d be the same mob of idiots that would have strung DW up if he actually did sign him!!

      • dreadpiratesteve - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:06 AM

        The guy writes a long and largely well thought out post and you immediately discount it and mock him simply because you disagree with his opinion of Ryan Miller? You are wearing the biggest clown shoes that any human has ever worn my friend.

        All you want to do is trash anyone who questions the direction of the Sharks or Doug Wilson’s managerial prowess. That is your prerogative as a blind fan and no one can blame you for that. But you embarrass yourself and Sharks fans everywhere by acting like Doug Wilson’s internet bodyguard.

        It’s been a tough enough summer without you making us all look bad Ace…

      • blomfeld - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:52 AM

        May God bless the Sharks of San Jose ! …

        signed, SC Champion LA Kings Nation !!! :) :) :)

      • radioshacksucks99 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        getting players who actually have balls would be my first step. no one was more rock bottom than the la kings were after that whole bruce mcnall thing. they were in bankruptcy, old crappy players, no farm system and look where they are now!! they drafted players with heart and made every pick count. from their 1st round pick to their 8th they found impact players and only then did they make a trade to get that final missing piece. they are built for the playoffs which the sharks have no clue what that means… the sharks can pad their personal stats which apparently is important to them by beating up on the buffaloes and edmontons of the league during the regular season but when it matters most… the playoffs their im in it for myself attitude gets them nowhere. they fold like a cheap suit the second they face any adversity in the post season and its hard to win anything with one hand around your neck…but they will get their 100 + points in the regular season and lose in the first round. its groundhog year for the sharks not just day. oh and btw the west just got a million times tougher so its not just the l a kings you have to worry about next yr. if youre lucky enough to avoid them in the first round then the ducks will kick your ass and send you home… either way the sharks will be on the golf course by the second round as usual

  2. esracerx46 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    So in essence he’s trying to draft better while still contending. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that?! Isn’t that every teams goal? Draft the best player with the lowest pick? Will someone please tell this guy to stop talking? He’s making himself look like even more of a fool.

  3. pantherpro - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    The cup is coming to SJ

    • thesportsjudge - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      Why? Is LA bringing it there on its tour?

      • pirovash88 - Jul 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM


    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Are there any players on other contending teams tha are from San Jose? If so, it could happen!

  4. eiveson16 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    i’m sure doug will stop saying stupid things when the media stops asking him stupid questions… 10playoff seasons in a row, losing to the eventual w.conf. champ. at least half of those is my bet…

    • bigtganks - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      With all that talent, they haven’t even made it to the Cup Final. Many first round knock out’s and then…. wow, this year…

  5. sjsharks66 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    SKR, is either Wilson or related to Wilson. The man LOVES him. Love that they point out that they are going to look for leadership in Braun and Vlasic. I remember a certain someone saying the exact same thing in the last Sharks article. Then someone claiming I was an idiot for thinking Vlasic could be a leader.

    Kick rocks dude. Wilson needs to go. Signing Scott, Haley and extending Hannan just proves it.

    • skr213 - Jul 11, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      No, I’m just a knee jerk idiot who bashes DW at every turn, even when there’s nothing to bash and/or I have nothing better to suggest.

    • mcflower29 - Jul 11, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      translation: i’m a proxy account that allows me to show my worst-set of personalities as a sharks fan that way i can deliver shock-value, ruin reputations of real sharks fans, and my true identity is not tarnished.

      PS: i ++++ men.

    • skr213 - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      A proxy account?? Go google skr213. It’s the same online identity I use everywhere. And is your “true identity” here? No, your name isn’t McFlowers now is it? At least I’m using my actual initials. HAppy to arrange to meet you if you’d like:

    • skr213 - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      By the way, please go find ANY comment of me saying you were an idiot for thinking Vlasic could be a leader. I have said for the last TWO YEARS that he should be a leader on the team, and I’ve said repeatedly that he, Pavs, and Couture should wear the letters next year. What I said you were an idiot about regarding Pickles was your suggestion that he was all the team needed to teach younger defensemen and that Hannan was a bad signing. Pickles is AWESOME, but he’s not veteran enough to be teaching youngsters.

  6. jhmiddleton81 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    I can’t believe his description of this “rebuild”. Like you have an incredible team, if you develop more wingers and add a goalie and a defenseman you can compete to win. You have enough talent.

  7. sjawesome - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Why don’t we all just blame Demers and move on. We all know it was his fault anyway

  8. sjsharks66 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Well yeah, i thought blaming Demers was a given? 😛

  9. billiam55 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    signing john scott isnt a rebuild.

  10. patthehockeyfan - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    When Wilson needs a new word next year, may I suggest one of the following:


    The thesaurus contains many more synonyms for ‘rebuild.’ Let’s hope the Sharks win the Cup before we’ve run out of them.

    • nyking1963 - Jul 11, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      you left out “resign”

      • patthehockeyfan - Jul 11, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Clever!! lmao

  11. jjl9999 - Jul 11, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    It’s a rebuild on the fly. Anyone who thinks otherwise has only seen the cherrypicked quotes.

    • thesportsjudge - Jul 11, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      Isn’t it just an ongoing process then?

  12. canada2014gold - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    He is just frustrated, I would be too. The problem is he have NMC’s to too many veterans. Hmmmm Mke Gillis anyone

  13. sjsharks66 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    Skr:“Vlasic is enough to teach the younger guys.” Aaaaand, you just revealed your age right there. Back to mom’s basement for you!”

    So… Again.. Kick rocks

  14. Skye Vitiritti - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    We’re a tomorrow team.

    Actually, we’re a team that can win the Cup, we just have to let the younger players become leaders.

    Actually, wait, we’re a team that needs to change the culture that we’ve cultivated.

    Perhaps Wilson should figure out what he’s trying to do with the Sharks before speaking to the media. He looks clueless and the FA signings aren’t exactly getting fans excited for the future, nor do they point to rebuilding the team, nor do they point to rebuilding the culture.

    Unless slow and thuggish is a culture now.

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