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The Shallow End: Trade Deadline 2020 Edition

2020-05-04

The 2020 trade deadline is now in the rearview mirror, and it was another wild and wooly day for the GMs of the EHE. Here's how it broke down for the San Jose Sharks.


For the first time in his three-year tenure with the San Jose Sharks, General Manager Kyle Phillips headed into the EHE trade deadline with his team holding down a playoff position.

And while that must be recognized as progress for a franchise that has been on the outside looking in since 2015-16, this year's team is hardly kicking down the door to the postseason dance.

After all, it was only about a week ago that they were sitting comfortably in third place in the Pacific, and even home ice advantage in the first round seemed like it could be within reach.

Fast forward to deadline day, and the team had lost 4 of its last 5, while looking shaky in every aspect of their play, from even strength to special teams to goaltending. Combine that with the red-hot play of division rival Los Angeles, and the Sharks found themselves clinging to the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference and staring down the barrel of a proverbial Matchup of Death against the Dallas Stars.

All of which is to say that Phillips didn't exactly find  himself in a position of strength heading into yesterday's deadline. So when he merely dipped his toe into the trade waters--sending Brenden Dillon to Arizona for Sami Vatanen in an exchange of bottom-pair defensemen--it probably shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. 

To be sure, there had been talk all season that the coaching staff was less than impressed with Dillon's lacklustre play and soaring penalty minute totals. In theory at least, Vatanen should be able to soak up more minutes without putting his team at a special teams disadvantage. But in the end, it came off as a fairly underwhelming move for the organization.

Perhaps Phillips simply ran out the steam (not to mention secondary assets) required to make a bigger move, after the high-profile, season-long trade binge that has changed the face of his team. Rumour has it that names like Josh Morrissey and Pavel Buchnevich were in the mix for some potentially splashy deals, but ultimately that was a bridge management wasn't willing to cross. 

Maybe in the end, the veteran GM is wearing his rose-coloured glasses, and views the roster he's constructed as one that can realistically challenge for the Stanley Cup.

Whatever the case, this is officially the group of players tasked with ending a playoff drought that stretches back to a time when Harambe was the hottest meme around, and Jay Seo's league-mandated ankle bracelet was still keeping him in L.A.

Can this Sharks team do the job? Or should Phillips have pushed harder to make a big addition (or two)? 

With just 16 games to go, we'll know soon enough.




Thomas Gidlow

Sometimes a simple tweak or two is all it takes. Anything can happen once the playoffs start. ;)

The Shallow End: Trade Deadline 2020 Edition

• 0 teams Like this  1 month
Kyle Phillips That's what I'm hoping! Not that I have a choice anymore haha
1 month  1 teams Like this
Brandyn Errickson

LA thinks the Sharks had a great trade deadline.

The Shallow End: Trade Deadline 2020 Edition

• 0 teams Like this  1 month
Kyle Phillips The Sharks think LA had a huge deadline. They really needed it to make up for throwing in the towel a month ago.
1 month  0 teams Like this