Let it be known that I have complete faith in what moves that Doug Wilson makes. I, like everyone else was livid about how last season ended but unlike others, I was (and still not) in favor of blowing up the team. I don't subscribe to the thinking of make a trade just to make a trade. I am probably in the minority right now but I would not be against going into next season with the team as it is currently constructed. Scott Nicol brings the agitator we have always needed and there are a few rosters spots for the young guys to fight for. If you believe some of the reports, the NHL is in the middle of a possible armageddon salary-wise. That would put us in a good position and very flexible to do some things with Marleau, Blake and Nabby's contracts up after next season. That is roughly 16 million coming off the cap if it becomes lower next year.
If you have been followingthe Heatley sopa opera he has asked for a trade, Ottawa has obliged him by trading him to Edmonton only to have Heatley invoke his no-trade and veto it. It is rumored that he would like to come to the Sharks and he is known to love California. With EDM GM Steve Tambellinicoming out publically and saying they are no longer pursuing Heatley, OTT GM Bryan Murray is in a tough spot. I can't imagine OTT welcoming back Heatley and if no other teams come forward he might be obliged to accept any reasonable offer. The latest rumor coming out of OTT (take it for what it is worth) has the Sharks offering Ehrhoff, Cheechoo and a 1st rounder for the sniper. OTT has thought to have no interest in Cheechoo so they are trying to bring in a 3rd team (MONT?). From the outside, Heatley doesn't seem to be a Wilson type player (perceived locker room cancer, known to complain about ice time, etc). This doesn't even take into account his salary and cap implications. Heatley's salary cap figure is 7.5 which would top Joe's, but with OTT paying a 4 million dollar bonus earlier this year, the Sharks would only be on the hook for 4 mill this year which is more than reasonable for a player of his ability. Wayne Thomas, Sharks assistant GM, was a college roommate of Heatley's dad so maybe the Sharks have some insider information about Heatley's makeup as a player. Being up to the cap like we are this trade cannot occur without some salaries going to OTT or elsewhere so that makes Ehrhoff, Cheechoo and Michalek prime trade chips. I am still not sold on acquiring Heatley for various reasons (length of salary, reputation, etc) but if we can get him without giving up Patty or Milan then Wilson has played a nice game of chicken and waited out Murray and got Heatley at a good price. Sounds somewhat similiar to a trade for a much maligined BOS star that Wilson pulled off a few years ago and that seemed to work pretty well. Here would be a possible opening night lineup:
Not a bad opening night lineup. Whatever you do Doug Wilson, I have faith in your judgement.