The start of free agency has not treated the San Jose Sharks well so far, as many fans will most likely attest.
Gone, most notably, is D Brian Campbell who followed the Benjamins to Chicago with a hefty new eight-year contract worth around $56 million.
Not that anyone should be surprised that it happened, but one has to wonder why Doug Wilson paid such a hefty price to acquire Campbell just to let him walk away for nothing during the off-season. Wilson is a very astute GM, and has proven so in the way he has constructed this team to be a playoff contender every year.
He doesn't solely rely on the big name free-agent pickup, but also relies on that deep farm system to call up players to fill roles capably. The list includes names such as Jonathan Cheechoo, Joe Pavelski, Steve Bernier, and Ryane Clowe to name a few.
However, I can only hope that Wilson has something good up his sleeve because the loss of Campbell really hurt. When he came in that big trade-deadline deal, is when the Sharks went on their big undefeated tear that propelled them to the No. 2 seed in the West.
Of course, the Sharks would pull their annual disappearing act in the playoffs in the second round, costing Ron Wilson his job, and justifiably so.
Now with the Todd McLellan era set to begin, the only significant moves have been resigning Pavelski, Jeremy Roenick, Brian Boucher, and Jody Shelley. These guys are good role players, but did not have the impact that Campbell had.
Now, is the contract that Campbell got from Chicago outlandish? Well, which contracts in sports aren't in the outlandish/ridiculous category these days?
The Sharks right now are a franchise at a crossroads. They have had a great run of success the past few years, but the team is not getting any younger, and their first round pick for this year's draft was sent to Buffalo to acquire Campbell.
If Wilson wants to continue a prolonged run of success without a Stanley Cup to boast, he should continue down this path. The time has come to perhaps bring in that next big name that will put the Sharks over the top, and he owes it to the fans to make sure that happens.
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