Deadline deals: Pacific Division
Sharks should shore up one weak spot; Ducks' D raises questions
After the Winter Olympics end, NHL teams will have just three days to tweak their rosters ahead of the March 3 trade deadline. Insider has linked ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek with the metric-heads over at Puck Prospectus to evaluate every team's roster and the surrounding whispers from NHL Rumor Central. This is how your team could improve for a run at the playoffs, the Stanley Cup or for next season.
GM Doug Wilson made a smart move adding veteran D Niclas Wallin before the Olympic trade freeze. Wallin is a tough competitor who brings championship experience from his 2006 Cup run in Carolina. In a perfect world, I think Wilson would like to add another puck-moving D to his mix. That'll be tough, though. Right now, he has very limited cap space available.
Wilson might seek some secondary scoring help, too. In the playoffs, when teams focus their energy on shutting down the Sharks' top line of C Joe Thornton, LW Patrick Marleau and RW Dany Heatley, coach Todd McLellan probably would love to have one more second-line type to work with Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi. Again, Wilson would have to make a roster move to make something like that work.
The Sharks will have to keep an eye toward the future. Top goalie Evgeni Nabokov and star winger Marleau must be re-signed in the offseason. That means Wilson more than likely won't be taking on any players who have additional years on their current contracts. Of course, another disappointing postseason could mean some serious summer changes. -- E.J. Hradek
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