Most of the time, I admire Doug Wilson for making pragmatic moves that address future and current needs. Niclas Wallin wants to return? Sure, go for it -- the Canes fans I talked to had nothing but praise for Wallin, and we didn't see him anywhere near 100% as he was bothered by the ever-present lower-body injury (re: groin injury, which explains his complete lack of mobility in the playoffs).
But for $2.5 million? That's a hefty chunk of change, especially when Kent Huskins comes with a cap hit of $1.7 million.
Right now, the Sharks' cap hits on defense looks like this:
Dan Boyle: $6.67
Marc-Edouard Vlasic: $3.1
Douglas "Doug" Murray: $2.5
Niclas Wallin: $2.5
Kent Huskins: $1.7
Jason Demers: $0.54
Now, I was of the mindset that I'd be fine with Wallin walking and somehow getting out from Huskins' contract. Then you let Demers try to grow into a role, then try to get a free agent of some impact for $3.5 - 4 million, and you give someone like Derek Joslin a chance at ice time. That'd leave the top six as Boyle, New Dude, Vlasic, Murray, Demers, Joslin. That seems like a much more appropriate allocation of money than the current set up.
With Wallin back in the mix, I have to think -- and hope -- that something will be done to Huskins' contract. My hope was that taking Huskins would be the caveat in getting Evgeni Nabokov's rights, but it looks like the going price is just a seventh rounder.
Maybe Wilson is confident that Vlasic will get better, not regress as he's seemingly done for the past two years. Maybe Wilson will use Meg's time machine to bring back Jason Demers of four years from now, not the current one. (And while you're at it, how about finding Jonathan Cheechoo circa 2005?) But as of right now, I give Wilson a thumbs up on forward signings and a thumbs down on the way the defense is currently set up.
Kent Huskins -- DO NOT WANT!