The expected result of the 2012 NHL free-agency period was that the San Jose Sharks were going to be aggressive and pursue players to help smooth over a rough 2011-12 season that saw the team slip from Western Conference elite status.
Head coach Todd McLellan and GM Doug Wilson both still held their jobs after the disappointing season, but it seemed to come with an assumption that the team would improve this offseason.
That was not the case.
San Jose, whether involved or not, seemed to lose out on every single free agent it was rumored to be pursuing.
The Rick Nash situation took on a life of its own, with rumors nearly every single day about the status of the teams chasing him.
However, the Sharks lost out on Rick Nash because they ran into a Blue Jackets GM who wanted one thing and one thing only: Logan Couture.
Comcast SportsNet’s Kevin Kurz said we should not be expecting much from the Sharks the rest of the way—meaning this is more or less the team they plan to ride into 2012-13 with.
Now the Sharks are back where they were when the team was dominated by the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the NHL playoffs last season.
They do still have a world-class captain in Joe Thornton, and several talented parts that include Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Martin Havlat and Ryane Clowe on the offensive end.
They even added assistant coaches who will pay dividends in their different areas of expertise.
But they do not have the added momentum of a high-brow acquisition during the offseason that could help fuel them heading into the 2012-13 regular season.
Last year, it was Brent Burns and Martin Havlat.
This season, it’s Adam Burish and Brad Stuart?
For what it is worth, this is still one of the most talented teams in the Western Conference, but I guess we expected more from Wilson & Co. this offseason.
It was a period that was supposed to change the culture of this team, not keep it at a standstill.
With that said, the question sooner than later may be are McLellan and Wilson’s jobs now on the line?
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