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"Dang" say the Ducks and Sharks

One of the interesting things about the good ol' Battle of California is how right now, even though the Ducks and Sharks are built a little differently, any sort of trade rumor that pops through my head makes me think, "I hope the Sharks get him so the Ducks won't." That sort of knee-jerk thinking is often proof that I'm not viewing things through a completely objective lens, at least when it comes to my Sharks and the Norris Ducks.

The thought of Peter Forsberg going to the Ducks scared the crap out of me. And even though Doug Wilson said the Sharks weren't in the Forsberg sweepstakes, I thought it'd be pretty damn interesting to keep Thornton/Marleau together on the same line and have Forsberg anchor the second line. Well, now all I have to say is dang.

Now, I was well aware that Nashville was as much as a favorite to win the Cup as our beloved California teams. But getting Peter Forsberg without touching their roster -- and the fact that Forsberg has looked much better over the past ten games than he has all season -- is just, well, kind of unfair (said in the least whiny way possible). Assuming Forsberg's as healthy as he says he is, the Preds are getting a guy who never disappears during the playoffs. Don't forget the year when he missed the entire season, only to lead the playoffs in scoring without even going to the Cup finals.

That's bad for either California team with Cup dreams.

Looking at the rosters, Nashville is built more like the Sharks (stacked up front, two good goalies, young defense) than the Ducks, but the problem is that Nashville suddenly has a new level of depth. And one of the problems that both the Ducks and Sharks will come to realize is that Forsberg is one of those really annoying players that makes his linemates better.

So, in theory, if the Preds are already happy having Legwand play with Kariya and Arnott play with Sullivan (or whatever combo they've been using lately), the Preds could have three scoring lines by sticking Forsberg with, say, Dumont. As much as I've trumpeted the Sharks offense since the Thornton trade, I don't see any team with as much depth as the Preds -- maybe the Sharks could say that if Mark Bell, Milan Michalek, Steve Bernier, Joe Pavelski, and Jonathan Cheechoo all pull it together at once (though I think Cheechoo finally figured out that moving his feet is a good way to get to open ice), but I don't see that happening.

Sharks and Ducks fans, this ain't a good thing (unless Forsberg's ankle snaps in half, then we can all point and laugh) and the bar has been raised. Obviously, the most depth on paper doesn't make for the best team, but this move makes me think of the Hurricanes getting Doug Weight last season...except replace Doug Weight with a former MVP who, when healthy, can still be one of the best players in the game.

Dang.