It's time for my long, rambling, pre-trade deadline rant, possibly interesting to no one but me.
Nolan a Leaf. And even with Marchment already an Av, Michel Goulet (vp of player personnel for the Avs) was watching the Sharks-Stars game on Sunday. Damphousse and/or Selanne have probably played their last game for the Sharks. My guess is that they keep Ricci and Thornton, but deal Vinne and Teemu. Kiprusoff started 3 of the last 4 games before the deadline; sounds like showcasing for a trade to me. And they load up on young, cheap players, then do nothing this off season getting ready for the change in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Which means they will suck next year. It's no wonder that the friend I shared my season tickets with since 1991 sent me an email this weekend to let me know she won't be renewing next year.
Look at the Sharks injuries of late:
- Fahey was out witha concussion.
- Stuart has missed 5 games since Shelly's 3-gloved punches to the face; he's still concussed.
- Thornton has a concussion.
- McGillis missed yesterday's game after a concussion he got from Andre Nazarov on Saturday. At least Nazty got a match penalty.
ESPN has a ranking of all the teams in the NHL and how many points they have per millions of dollars spent on payroll. The Sharks payroll is $47.9 miilion, which is less than a number of teams. But in pts per million, they are ahead of only the Rangers. No wonder they're breaking up the squad. Augh!
The Sharks have had SEVEN players make their NHL debut this year. Fortunately, some of them have looked pretty promising:
RW Nikko Dimitrakos: Age 23. 5'11", 190lbs. His 4 goals and 4 assists in 10 games with the Sharks look nice - until you see his -7 +/-. Still, a lot of that can be attributed to the Sharks being so thin on defense since he came up. And the fact that they suck. I've watched him play most of those 10 games; he's got decent speed, a good burst, and he seems to find the puck around the net. I like him.
D Jim Fahey: Age 23, 6', 205lb. 1 goal and 14 assists in 28 games. He's really turned it on of late: 13 pts in 19 games and 7 in his last 4 games, and for a team that loses as much as the Sharks have, his +7 +/- rating is very nice.
I also like what Alyn McCauley said after joining the team; that his offensive abilities had been held back in Toronto because he'd been on the 4th line and they weren't asked to do much offensively, but that wasn't going to be the case with the Sharks. I hope he lives up to the potential you Leaf fans think he has.
I've lived through a lot of disappointing years with the Sharks, but this one is the worst. This is the first time they were really picked as a contender for the cup, and they've had a horrible season. It's just sad to watch.