Hey there Sharks fans, have you heard the news? Our GM Doug Wilson went shopping this summer and he bought a center and a defenseman. It’s amazing what you can find in those bargain bins…and I was happy to walk out of the store with a 12 inch Wayne Gretzky doll. I need to set my sights a little higher next time.
The Sharks first acquisition was from the Minnesota Wild. Wait, haven’t we already been there and traded for that? Doug signed center James Sheppard, who had been selected ninth overall pick in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft In return, Minnesota received a third round draft pick in 2013.
"We liked him very much in his draft year and he's a big, strong player with good upside," Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson said.
Sheppard didn’t play last season due to a knee injury, supposedly due to a recreational accident. Rumor has it that was one of the reasons the Wild bought out the rest of his contract and let him go. Will Sheppard bring more offensive action to the team? It is possible. Sheppard ‘s stats show he has the potential to be a good goal scorer, with 33 goals and 96 total points in his final year in the QMJHL. At 6’0 and 205 pounds, he can certainly make his presence known on the ice.
In his short (to date) NHL career, James has played in 224 games, scored 11 goals and 38 assists for a total of 49 points. He is a minus 28 and has 2 game winning goals. He’s taken 209 shots with an average of 5.3 per game.
The second player to sign on to wear the teal, black and white is Colin White. The 6’4, 215 pound defenseman had been with the New Jersey Devils for his entire NHL career. He has two Stanley Cup rings, which means he understands the type of commitment needed to go the distance. During his 11 seasons and 743 games with the Devils, Colin has posted 125 points (20 goals, 105 assists), 848 penalty minutes and is a plus-79. Even better, he had 109 hits and played an average of 3 minutes on the penalty kill. Bolstering the blue line will help the Sharks down the road in the long season.
When asked about the trade, Colin White said, “I was very excited when San Jose and my agent were talking,” White said. “We (agent and he) started talking about the team there and the chance they have and the veterans they have. I thought it was a really good fit and it just worked out from there.”
Is Doug done with trades now? I think so, at least until the regular season gets underway. Training camp opens September 17th and Doug will be watching the kids and veterans both, trying to narrow down his core group. According to the Sharks site, Captain’s practices started, and those in attendance are pumped up. Yes, those there were sorry to see friends go, but business is business. The ultimate goal is winning the Cup and they understand that – as do we fans.
NHL.com analyst EJ Hradek said of the Sharks “ I felt they really needed another top-four (top-two) defenseman to complement their roster. For me, as they were previously constructed, they just didn't have enough on the blue line to get past the last few hurdles on the road to a championship… General manager Doug Wilson's decision to swap Dany Heatley for Martin Havlat seems more about fit. It was pretty clear that the club wasn't satisfied with Heatley's performance in the postseason. Wilson likely is hoping that Havlat will be reinvigorated by joining a top team. I guess we'll see about that. At his best, Havlat can back up defenders with his speed and skill. While Heatley possesses a lethal shot, he doesn't have the quickeness or speed that Havlat can bring to the rink.”
I'm getting antsey waiting for the start of the hockey season. Too bad we can't watch the pre-season games on TV. I think we should protest. Isn't hockey the only major league sport that DOESN'T have pre-season games broadcast?
Something's just not right about that.
I also believe the NHL channel should be a part of every sports package.
If I have to get the golf channel, then I want the hockey channel! Gold channels good for insommina (sorry guys, but it may be okay to play but have you every watched it??)