Fans always think their teams should make this trade or that trade in the offseason or at the trade deadline. If it were that simple in real life, anyone could be a general manager.
San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson has been one of the most successful ones. There are only seven teams since he started who have been more successful—the seven Stanley Cup winners—than his team's seven consecutive playoff berths, four consecutive Pacific Division championships and three conference finals appearances.
He has made a move at or leading up to every trade deadline in his tenure, whether for a major player or a role-player. (Check out this link to read more details about his trade deadline history.) With the Sharks in a tailspin right now—four straight losses and just six wins in their last 17—the question seems to be not whether he will make a move, but what move he will make.
Any realistic analysis of who he should go after must look at the liabilities of the team. San Jose struggles against a good forecheck, but puck-moving defencemen is not as much of a need as a top-six forward. The only thing the Sharks really cannot offer to get one is draft picks.
In net, the Sharks can spare a good prospect and a veteran whose contract is expiring. They could also offer either a veteran or young player on their current blue line. They have a cadre of young forwards already capable of contributing to a team.
The next step is to find teams that need those things and determine if they have a player they would be willing to give up who fits the Sharks needs. According to an NHL.com report, the Sharks interest in Rick Nash has increased.
Why Columbus would give up a young player with his skill and fan support is unknown, and the price may be too high. But if accurate, this report shows that the Sharks know they need a major shakeup and may be willing to give up a major player for the right return, making almost anyone fair game.
Since the standard team plays a dozen forwards, here are 11 choices other than Rick Nash for the Sharks to pursue, in no particular order...