Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Off the radar: Sharks are very quiet

Help us, Doug Wilson.  Sharks fans need some relief, something to distract the gossip gremlins as they scamper unchecked through our village.  Matters are getting desperate.  David Pollak felt obliged to address a Joe Thornton trade rumor, and I found myself watching a tape-delayed bicycle race the other day.  Desperate I say.

Unfounded Boyle trade rumors caused speculation and some scoffs.  The Thornton trade rumor caused a moment of laughter.  Shane Doan could… no won’t .. wait.. will… probably not come to San Jose.  Not sure Sharks fans care much about that, maybe no one ever believed he would join the team.  Now the gremlins are spitting dating rumors on the storefronts.  Do something, Mr. Wilson.  Put up a plaque at The Tank and have an unveiling ceremony.  Something.

Just weeks ago, Douglas Murray was called the odd defenseman out.  Now, apparently, the Sharks don’t have enough defensemen, as even this novice blogger observed some time ago.  Kevin Kurz suggests that the Sharks would like to have eight NHL-ready defensemen, like last season.  I agree that is a nice plan but I don’t believe that was why Wilson signed Colin White.  I think Wilson believed that White’s buyout situation created a bargain he couldn’t pass up.  Evidently the coaching staff agreed, giving White more playing time on the blue line than the earlier-signed Jim Vandermeer.  Even if Petrecki and Doherty are not NHL-ready, Irwin might be.  In any case, I think the team is more likely to go forward with seven NHL-tested blueliners than it is to go looking for an eighth.

While the Sharks don’t need another defenseman, they may need another third line center.  Will Handzus suit?  He should be better than last season if his injury has been dealt with.  Could Wingels fill the need?  He has been used primarily as a winger, but he seems like an adaptable fellow with a lot of promise.  They can bring McCarthy up to fill out the fourth line.  Maybe the Sharks can get by without another significant move. 

Doug Wilson is habitually quiet while others maintain a reassuring hum.  His stealth is such that when others go quiet, there is room to speculate that they are in negotiations with San Jose:

...Bross hasn’t responded to emails.
That could mean the Sharks are no longer in the running and it’s not in his best interest to disclose that. But it also could mean that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson – who likes to do his business as quietly as possible – asked Bross to keep things more in the shadows. -Working the Corners 

Silence can be hard to interpret.  It’s a prime condition for meditation.  Shakespeare’s Henry V was a regular chatterbox as a reckless boy, but as king he became very economical with his words.  Of the Bible it is said that God’s silence indicates disapproval.  In modern western politics, silence is a kind of death.  To the public, contract negotiations can seem silent but really they are just beyond our ability to hear, or they should be.  Somehow, most parties manage to let a little noise out anyway.

According to rumor, or possibly a tactical leak, Shane Doan expects to get four years for $30 million.  Information leaks remind me of that underhanded maneuver some people use in an argument, when they turn to a third party and say “isn’t that true?” or “did you hear what she said?” It is a desperation move, asking an innocent bystander to help you gang up on your opponent.  It’s a tactic employed often by those who doubt their autonomous power.

So I can appreciate Wilson keeping quiet when he negotiates with someone.  When he does say he’s done dealing with someone, he means it.  See Columbus Blue Jackets and Daniel Winnik.  It still creates a frustrating situation for fans when writers have to come up with something, anything to write about, without any help from the team.  I would prefer cursory interviews with any player newly signed or re-signed, even if he is expected to spend the season in Worcester. 

Is Doug Wilson quietly negotiating something worthy of a big noise?  Or is he planning to go forward with this roster and the new coaches?  I believe the latter situation would be the more newsworthy, but not a terrible plan.  With the cap situation up in the air, the season even, it is more reckless than ever to pack the stable too full.  If Wilson is planning something big, that wouldn’t be surprising since he has stated that he intended to do as much after last season’s disappointment.  Adding high-profile Assistants is a new thing for the Sharks, but it might not be big enough news to satisfy onlookers.

Even if the new coaches will make a very big difference in the way the team plays, the gremlins crave roster moves.  It’s like the attention given to actors over directors among movie-goers.  Viewers are happy to ignore the ones behind the curtain, unless the film is a flop.

That doesn’t mean you have to give the gremlins what they want.  Just make a little sound to draw their attention.  Or not.  Aside from the noise they make, all they can really do is spit and blow hot air at us.  Heck, Murray can use the comparatively positive publicity, he had a rough season.  I guess Sharks fans will have to suffer through the team-specific silence for a while longer.  The CBA negotiations will have to be enough.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: doug+wilson, douglas+murray, gossip, gremlins, michal+handzus, rumor, shane+doan, silence, tommy+wingels

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About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net