San Jose Sharks: Analyzing Deadline Day and Possible Brad Winchester Extension
And while Sharks' GM Doug Wilson wasn't able to secure what could have been his most blockbuster move since the trade for Joe Thornton by moving Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash to San Jose, he wasn't silent.
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It was no secret the Sharks had a lack of forward depth on their current roster. So instead of trading for just one player, Wilson made a package of players which included rising star and fan favorite, Jamie McGinn.
In return, the Sharks received a pair of versatile wingers, Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi.
"We were looking for speed, grit, tenacity and penalty-killing," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "We got that in these two players."
McGinn's abrupt trade and exit from the team left many Sharks fans unsure on how it might affect star player Logan Couture. They have been teammates and friends since their junior days playing for the Ottawa 67s.
The fact of the matter is, this is part of the business. And while McGinn and Couture are great friends, they didn't play on the same line in San Jose, didn't sit next to each other on the bench in San Jose and did not room together on San Jose road trips.
Will McGinn's exit have an effect on Couture? I think it will have an equal effect on all players of the team, as McGinn was beginning to blossom into a vital role of the Sharks' bottom six.
But let's look at what can happen with the players that are arriving in San Jose as McGinn is leaving.
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Galiardi, at the ripe age of just 23, is known for his abilities to skate with raw speed. Which makes him a perfect candidate for the aging but always speedy Patrick Marleau.
In 171 career games for the Avalanche, Galiardi has accumulated 33 goals and 39 assists and could bring some serious swagger and confidence to the Sharks' third and fourth lines.
Galiardi got off to a hot start as a rookie with the Avalanche, but has struggled in recent months. There's no doubt that Colorado has established itself as a legitimate hockey city and team, but the days of Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Peter Foresberg are long gone.
When asked about his thoughts on being traded, Galiardi had this to say: "If you have a fresh start, you can start new. I talked to Doug Wilson just a little bit ago. The first thing he said is I'd be treated with a lot more respect. I'm looking forward to it."
If nothing else, the new youth being injected into the Sharks' dressing room will spread. And I think Galiardi will fit perfectly into the Sharks' current scheme.
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Daniel Winnik could be just what the Sharks penalty kill needs to get back on track.
Winnik will turn 27 years old next month, and at that age, he's logged the second-most amount of time spent on Colorado's PK unit at the time of the trade. It's safe to assume that he will be immediately infused into the Sharks' less-than-stellar special teams unit.
Winnik has tremendous speed of his own that matches his PK ability.
With Sharks' Martin Havlat and Dominic Moore expected to return from injury in the near future, it will be the perfect time for Winnik to showcase his abilities and maybe earn a possible extension, as he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
While Doug Wilson might have broken up one "unit" in Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture, he made it clear from the announcement of the trade that Galiardi and Winnik were acquired as just that. A unit.
It's no secret to fans in Colorado that the two spent much time together, and as fate may have it, were at a pregame meal together when they were told they had been traded to San Jose.
Sharks' GM Doug Wilson firmly believes that Galiardi and Winnik are a one-two punch for the team, saying, "You have speed, you have PK ability, you have guys who can create offence in different roles in your lineup."
When asked about his familiarity with the duo, Wilson said, "We know them well. They play hard. They have a little edge to them which we like."
I really feel that Galiardi and Winnik will have an immediate effect on the Sharks' bottom pair, and we might see them work a little bit of magic as they dress in their first game wearing teal when the Sharks host the Flyers on Tuesday night.
Brad Winchester Voices His Desire to Stay in San Jose
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There were two signings that I got really excited about that most Sharks fans just seemed to ignore. Those signings were Handzus and Winchester.
The Sharks made a complete turnover after the end of last season, turning their focus to filling the defensive voids that resulted in their second consecutive loss in the Western Conference Finals.
When September hit, Doug Wilson realized the Sharks were in need of more depth at the forward position.
One of the men he looked to to fill the void was journeyman Brad Winchester. Wilson offered Winchester a tryout to make the Sharks' full-time roster. And he did not disappoint.
Winchester has yet to disappoint me this season.
The fact of the matter is that Winchester signed a one-year $725,000 contract, and last Wednesday during an interview in Toronto, made it clear he wanted to stay. When asked if he thinks he's earned the chance for an extension he commented, “I hope so. I love San Jose. It’s a fantastic organization."
Traditionally, Sharks' GM Doug Wilson likes to wait until years end to discuss or even consider contract extensions. But last year he granted goaltender Antti Niemi a midseason extension.
When Wilson was asked about how Winchester has performed this season for the Sharks, he said, “He’s played very well. He came in with no guarantees, earned his spot on the team, and has played well every night."
Wilson has given the basic generic responses to the media that any GM would give about a player that's performing reasonably or at the level he should be.
In my opinion, Brad Winchester has done everything he's signed on to do, and more. I just hope that Wilson see's the same thing, and offers him an extension.
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