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Why the Sharks' rebuild is necessary

7/3/2014
Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson had been so open about his offseason plans that he seemed a little surprised when he was asked for further details at the draft.

“I can’t be any more honest than I have been,” he said. “What did I leave out?”

Really, nothing.

It just seems hard to grasp from the outside. The Sharks put up 111 regular-season points, more than both Chicago and Los Angeles. They jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against Los Angeles before the Kings came charging back to win the series. It was a devastating moment but one that doesn’t look quite as damning after the Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup in impressive fashion.

If Marc-Edouard Vlasic (knee) is healthy and the Sharks get a little bit better goaltending in Round 1, they probably finish the job. And then who knows?

It seemed like a pretty easy fix. Bring in another top-four defenseman in place of Dan Boyle, who was traded, upgrade your goaltender, and take another stab at it next season.

Up close, it was a different story.

“When you watch that series, when [the Kings] dug down deeper, we had players trying to do it themselves,” Wilson said. “We missed Vlasic, he was our most irreplaceable player. I can’t avoid the truth of that. Then you watched the odd-man rushes given up. Game 5 in our building -- they re-established their game. We looked like we never played together.”

It got only worse after that.

“We kind of unraveled. That’s when it showed its head,” Wilson said.