San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in return for two second-round draft picks in 2013 and 2014 Monday, giving the Penguins a physical presence on the ice and the Sharks a head start on the expected rebuilding process.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
For the Sharks, the move was inevitable considering the type of season the team has been having. After starting 7-0-0, the Sharks are on the Western Conference playoff bubble and are in the middle of a 6-11-6 slump over their last 23 games.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson received a good return on the deal for Murray, though. Two second-round draft picks in back-to-back drafts will surely bode well for the team's rebuilding process that seems more and more likely with every game in which the Sharks do not score over two goals.
Murray, on the other hand, gets a fresh start with the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Sharks, meanwhile, rid themselves of a player making $2.5 million this season, while becoming more and more of a liability on the ice this year.
The trade also might give away Wilson's hand moving forward. Rebuilding the team with the likes of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture still seemed like a long shot, considering the talent on the ice, but Wilson has made it clear with the Murray trade that building for the future is clearly what this team is striving for.
Murray could have been a piece in a larger deal to bring an impact player to San Jose. Instead, the Sharks receive draft picks for the future.
Wilson is not expected to be done wheeling and dealing before the April 3 trade deadline. Defenseman Dan Boyle is also expected to be a hot commodity on the trade market, while winger Ryane Clowe will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
This is likely just the start of real change in San Jose.
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