In recent seasons, the Sharks have had what looked to be squads that were capable of going all the way, but every year they somehow blew it in the early playoff rounds.
With many of their star players seemingly passing their primes with no silverware to show for it, some wholesale changes within the franchise must be made.
Coach Todd McLellan will return for his fifth season at the helm, hoping to guide his team not only to regular season success (as he has often done in the past), but also to a fruitful Stanley Cup run.
When speaking to The Californian, Sharks GM Doug Wilson had this to say about the organization:
“We’re aware that we’re not chasing a formula, we have our own formula. That’s what we’ll continue to do. We’ll enhance it, we’ll grow it, we’ll pull pieces in from other organizations and have our formula and our identity. That’s what we’ll play to.”
Something the Sharks dearly missed last season was the aggressiveness and bite that we had come to expect.
Players more often than not would lackadaisically glide around the ice, looking as though they could care less about the game at hand.
Their penalty kill was one of the poorest in recent memory, 29th overall.
Will the Sharks be Stanley Cup contenders
Bringing in some fresh faces to enhance these aspects is a must if the Sharks are going to pose a serious threat next year.
Per the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sharks are pleased to welcome back defenseman Brad Stuart this season.
Stuart's playoff experience and physicality will bring much-needed relief to the Sharks' aging defense, and his familiarity with the the players, city and fans should see him fit in seamlessly.
On the offensive side of things, Columbus Blue Jackets RW Rick Nash could be a key piece of the puzzle to rebuilding the static offensive line.
ESPN claims that in return for Nash, the Blue Jackets will demand promising 23-year-old center Logan Couture.
With Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Michal Handzus already occupying the that slot, bringing in a RW is slightly more prevalent on the Sharks' to-do-list, so the trade could get the go-ahead.
Enough speculation, though. The Sharks really just need to show up when it matters and find a system that works.
No matter who comes in or goes out, there are no excuses anymore.
The franchise already has a solid base to build upon, and now it will be up to Wilson and McLellan to make smart moves and turn their team into Stanley Cup contenders.