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It’s San Jose Sharks day on PHT

Aug 6, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Seven Getty Images

You can pretty much sum up San Jose’s 2013-14 campaign with two words:

The collapse.

In the opening playoff round against Los Angeles, the Sharks became just the fourth team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead, the most disappointing playoff defeat for a franchise that knows plenty about them. The loss was so gut-wrenching, in fact, Logan Couture said the bitter feelings will “probably never” go away.

The collapse also started what’s been one of the most dramatic and, at times, dysfunctional offseasons in franchise history. After GM Doug Wilson and owner Hasso Plattner decided to retain the front office and coaching staffs, things got dramatic.

A sampling of PHT headlines from this summer:

GM Wilson suggests Sharks might need to ‘take one step backwards’

Kings could see fear in Sharks’ eyes before comeback

Sharks GM Wilson: ‘We now become a tomorrow team’

Columnist: Sharks are ‘having a bit of a nervous breakdown right now’

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

Marleau: Remarks that Sharks aren’t tight-knit not ‘a big thing’

Then came the moves.

Veteran d-man Dan Boyle wasn’t retained. Martin Havlat was bought out of his contract, Brad Stuart was traded to Colorado and Brent Burns was returned to defense.

But Wilson didn’t stop there.

Seemingly fixated on beefing up, Wilson re-signed tough guy Mike Brown and inked journeymen pugilists John Scott and Micheal Haley in free agency. This was, of course, with San Jose already employing the likes of Andrew Desjardins, Adam Burish and Raffi Torres. Then, sticking with the “tomorrow team” narrative, San Jose retained a number of its young players — Tommy Wingels, James Sheppard, Jason Demers and Alex Stalock.

But perhaps the biggest and most telling moves Wilson made… were the ones he didn’t make. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were retained despite rumors swirling around both; in early July, the Sharks actually brought back a longstanding veteran in blueliner Scott Hannan.

In the end, the offseason left people with more questions than answers, especially when it came to explaining what the Sharks were doing. Is this a re-build? A re-tool? A culture change?

We’ll spend most of today trying to figure it out.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Caption to the front-page photo: “This should be fun.”

    Mike Halford: master of the understatement

    I’ve got my popcorn, and I’m prepared to be amused. Take it away, folks!

    • govtminion - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      I’m sure it will be nothing bur rational discourse and well-thought comments all around. 😉

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Sure it will.

        Want to buy some beachfront property in Idaho? :)

      • govtminion - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        Screw that. I’ve been to Cour D’Elane, and it sucked. 😉

      • avfanforlife - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        It’s Coeur d’Alene, and it’s beautiful there.

      • govtminion - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        It was posted before I’d had caffeine, and I thought it was a muck-filled mess of a lake. Your mileage may vary.

  2. sjsharksfan11 - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Took many years for Wilson to learn that this team needed some balls since Thornton and Marleau have none. Can’t wait to see Quick and Doughty demolished. Hopefully it’s a cheap shot.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Winning by taking out players will never succeed over a season or playoffs.

      • sjsblitz - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Worked well when Hertl and Vlassic went down

      • thewaytonever - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Worked well for the Kings

    • skr213 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Whether or not cheap shots “succeed” I never want to win that way. I’d rather support a choke team than a cheap team.

  3. jabbadonut - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    As a Kings fan, I was, of course, thrilled by the comeback and the subsequent run to the Cup. I think San Jose fans should take solace in the fact the Kings did go on to win it all, and in hindsight I think we should all agree that they were just an unstoppable force of nature beginning with game 4 of the series against San Jose. You ran into destiny, Sharks, don’t feel so bad. Better luck this upcoming season . . . oh, wait, I’m a Kings fan . . . crash and burn, Sharks, crash and burn . . . :)

    • sjsblitz - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Go to Hell!

  4. jhnyr45 - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    I feel like the Sharks are just going to try and punch their way through the Kings this time around…. they can forget about beating them in a hockey game

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    I have a bold prediction – they are very likely to make th playoffs again, despite the appearant dysfunctionality. We await the news about who will wear the “C” and “A”s.

  6. phtjoey - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    the pain felt from losing to the kings after leading the series 3-0 will linger for a couple of years. matter of fact it would take a total collapse of the ducks and kings for this team to win the division. and that won’t happen. not enough changes were made to rid the team of the effects of that humiliating playoff loss.

  7. billiam55 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Sharks fans deserve to see this team beat LA opening night. It’ll be good for the fans. Idc how good LA is gonna be, the sharks need to be motivated and play like they want to win.

    • govtminion - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Sure, winning the games they need to win in the regular season is never trouble for the Sharks. It’s once that calendar flips to April that things go a bit pear-shaped on them.

    • pirovash88 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      That game will mean nothing, you know why? Because the Kings will be raising yet another banner.

      • billiam55 - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        its two points. does count for something

    • rmccleary97 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      Sharks fans don’t *deserve* to see their team beat LA on opening night. They may want to see it, it might make them feel slightly better about blowing a 3-0 lead, but they don’t *deserve* it for any reason.

      • billiam55 - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        of course they deserve it. seeing their team up 3-0 in a series and then the team backfires on the fans to loose 4 straight?! fans payed money all season to watch them why not

  8. sjrulz17 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    After years of disappointment. That reverse sweep should finally give them some motivation. If anything that season opener is gonna be a bloodbath.

  9. btlpper68 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I’ve been a diehard sharks fan for a while, it’s easy to turn the page on the team but I am pretty optimistic about this year. Thornton and Marleau will b Thornton and Marleau, pavelski prob won’t get 41 but has to b confident, logan won’t have anymore hand issues, hertl will be a year stronger and knee fully healthy, Torres a nice B6 fwd fully healthy, sheppard had a good 2 half and one of the only sharks with a good postseason, nietto hopefully speedy, maybe we see hayes get some time and mueller some minutes. You could just talk about Scott but really John Scott is IRELAVENT and means nothig to me

  10. btlpper68 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    NHL did a great job of TROLING the F*** out of us by making us attend LA’s cup raising gig, perhaps maybe they want us to bring a gift to? Anywy it won’t b a Stanley cup but it would be nice to win on opening night and shut those glass banging fans up

    • patthehockeyfan - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      I’m going to be optimistic and say that the match-up is just the luck of the draw of the schedule.

      Now, I’m going to be realistic and say, “Oh, yeah! The NHL really stuck it to the Sharks and their fans.”

      Should be an interesting game.

  11. pantherpro - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Sharks best team in NHL just lost to a hot Kings team. We will raise the Cup this year!

  12. nightfireop - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    As a Kings fan when I heard that Doug Wilson declared Sharks “a tomorrow team,” I was legitimately worried given that the Kings did the very same thing and we found success with it. History has shown that Sharks have been plagued with playoff choking and year after year of retooling, they will always have that “patient zero” lockroom leader whose lack of confidence, lack of resilience, lack of grit, whatever you want to call it will trickle down to the young players.

    If the Sharks truly cleaned house and started their roster with new generation players; one of the unseen benefits in that is you clean out house, you also bring in a new generation of players that desire to win and hate to lose and you rid of veterans that are used to losing and have grown used to it. A new generation of Sharks with no memories of the past would actually be more frightening than the current roster.

    What I find hilarious though is that Wilson resigned Mike Brown and signed John Scott to beef up the roster. In the words of Wilson, he said “As we integrate more younger players to our team, John’s presence alone can act as a deterrent and help keep teams and opposing players honest.” Seriously?? While Brown’s hit can be a debate on its own, was Dustin Brown’s impact really that significant that Wilson dedicated a roster spot JUST for one person in ONE team?

    But we’ll see, next year is a whole new season and its another level playing field again.

  13. bmoreredfury311 - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    As a Caps fan, I feel for Sharks fans. Better luck in the upcoming season.

  14. ron05342 - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Fascinating to see almost all the comments centering around the Kings for Sharks fans. Proves that the Kings are still in Sharks’ fans head and probably won’t vacate for years to come. :)

    • skr213 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      No, they just love to troll every article about the Sharks.

  15. ronniethec - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    I have one word for the Snarks and their fans: SCOREBOARD! Snarks fans have no team, no life, no future. As a proud Kings fan I should have more distain for the Quacks than for any other team. But sadly I must admit that on the distain list, the Quacks are number 2. The Snarks are an easy number 1. And sine camp is about 1 month away, isn’t it time for the Snarks fans to strengthen their vocal cords? Okay. I will start it for them. “Beat L. A. “

    • skr213 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      You sound reasonable.

  16. Jeff&Cass - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    So far, pretty disappointed in the off-season moves – or lack thereof – by Doug Wilson. He said “status quo is not an option” after the series loss to LA and so far, in my opinion, the team has only got worse. San Jose needs a new goaltender (should’ve went after Ryan Miller) and some stronger depth pieces. Instead, we got a useless plug in John Scott and not much else. It will be exciting to see if some younger players can step up (Eriah Hayes, Freddie Hamilton, Taylor Doherty to name a few) but I still think the Sharks needed to add one or two proven roster players along with a new goalie. Can’t see this year being any better than the last with the way the team is currently.

    • skr213 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      Ryan Miller??? Yeah, because what this team needs is another mid-30s guy who disappoints in the playoffs. Use your head!!

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