Commentary

Deadline deals: Pacific Division

Sharks should shore up one weak spot; Ducks' D raises questions

Originally Published: February 22, 2010
By E.J. Hradek and Puck Prospectus | ESPN Insider
Evgeni NabokovTom Szczerbowski/US PresswireA better backup would help Evgeni Nabokov, and Sharks fans, rest easy leading up to the playoffs.

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.

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San Jose Sharks

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


To see what moves Pacific teams should make, and whether the Ducks should deal Scott Niedermayer, you must be an ESPN Insider.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.