• Elite Hockey Experience
 

Sharks Shocker

2020-03-18

It's been a strange ride for Sharks fans over the years.

Trying to support a mediocre team on the ice. Mixed messages coming from volatile or unreliable management groups. Having a new GM thrust upon them every season.   

So you could forgive the team's long-suffering supporters if they weren't much impressed when yet another regime arrived in 2017, touting another vision for the franchise.

Trust us, said the new (new) guys. There's a plan. It will take time and patience, but we've got a blueprint.

And they even backed up those words with actions (imagine that!), meticulously stockpiling assets while building through the draft, just as they said they would.

Slowly but surely, the local market bought in. Where once there had been skepticism and distrust, now there was an air of belief.

And then 2020 rolled around, and everything changed.

Suddenly, future assets were flying out the door, replaced by established veteran players. 

Kevin Hayes. Josh Anderson. Matt Niskanen. PK Subban. In a matter of weeks, a collection of solid, productive players had landed in San Jose, at the cost of innumerable prospects and draft picks--not to mention a controversial $9 million payout to jettison the corpse of Corey Perry's career.

It was a flurry that left local fans and media scratching their heads. Were there more changes to come? Or was the goal merely to be a respectable bubble team?

For better or worse, those questions were answered definitively late last night, when the team announced the acquisition of a bonafide EHE star, winger Vladimir Tarasenko.

Gone in the trade is an elite young defenseman in Quinn Hughes, and with him, any doubt that the Sharks' front office has officially changed how they do business. 

Bold, possibly reckless steps now seem to be the order of the day.

Need proof? At the time of the trade, the Sharks were on a 13-5-2 run, making them one of the EHE's hottest teams for a full quarter of the season. They've scored 65 goals in that time, which, prorated over a full 82 games, would put them in the top five of the league. Heck, they're even within shouting distance of top spot in the Pacific Division, something that would have been unthinkable only a few weeks ago.

So why sacrifice a young franchise defenseman to add an older, far more expensive goal scorer? Why now?

The answer, it would seem, is that this is an organization no longer interested in half-measures. Just looking at the evidence, it's clear that merely competing for a playoff spot is not good enough. 

Suddenly, inexplicably, this is a franchise that has accelerated its championship ambitions.

So now, after all that time working to win over an understandably skittish fan base, the Sharks almost seem to be daring people to keep the faith and come along for the ride.

Keep trusting us, the say, even though you might not recognize us anymore.

Strange days indeed.




Doug Waite

I see you found my secret stash of hooch on a lonely Monday night. Serious side note though, since I think I know where you found it, I think I left a 24-pack of toilet paper, and a four bags of Cool Ranch Doritos around the same spot. Send those items East if you could.

Sharks Shocker
Fans to Phillips: "It's like we don't even know you anymore!"

• 1 teams Like this  15 days