Man, if you're a Sharks fan, this has got to be getting old.
Not only are the Sharks and their fans suffering through yet another year of shattered hopes and quashed dreams, but for the third summer in a row, the debate of whether or not to blow up this team will begin to rage like a California fire.
I'm not a Sharks fan, but as a Red Wings fan, I do have a soft spot for elite, high-profile teams, and as a native Californian, I have followed the Sharks closely over the years.
For the record, I really thought this year's Sharks team was going to finally get it done. Back in November, I wrote about how much they reminded me of my Wings back in 1997, the year they ended their 42-year Cup drought.
Unfortunately, I was wrong, and the Sharks are once again in the familiar position of facing more questions than answers post-playoffs.
However, as an outside observer, I don't think it's appropriate for me to argue on one side or the other of the "to blow up or not to blow up the team" debate.
That's something Sharks fans can more passionately argue about than I can.
However, assuming GM Doug Wilson has his thumb on the detonator (and assuming he will not be taken out in the blast), it appears to me that there are several moves, five to be precise, that could be made to make this team stronger next year and beyond.
Before we got on with this, let me acknowledge that "blowing up the team" could mean different things to different people. It could include trading players, letting free agents walk, or a combination of those two; whatever the case, it certainly means bringing in new faces.
Lastly, understand that the following suggestions are designed to be completed in the sequence in which they're presented. These are sequential steps that, though not exhaustive (more than this will need to be done), could leave the Sharks a better, more complete team.
Though, admittedly, I don't how you can get better or more complete than the team that just got swept in the Western Conference Finals, but I digress.
As always, I welcome all comments, counter-arguments, and points of contention, so post away!