No Hjalmarsson for the Sharks. Who then? David Pollak commented that Doug Wilson would not comment on who else he might be interested in signing, or sending an offer sheet to. Pollak mentioned a particular player that Wilson did not comment on. This lead me, and I am sure many others, to think “aha! That must mean he is going after that player.” Here is the quote:
He wouldn’t, of course, go into what other players moved up a notch on the Sharks’ wish list in their effort to make up for the loss of Rob Blake — it’d be tampering even to mention the Rangers’ Marc Staal, for example, because the qualifying offer he received keeps him Rangers’ property even though he’s an RFA. Working the Corners
Now, that particular player is probably coveted by many in this defense-starved market. It is true that someone like Doug Wilson cannot say he has an interest in him: that would be interfering with ongoing contract negotiations. It isn’t a crime, but it is an actionable civil offense. If Wilson voiced an interest in hiring that player, he would be giving that player negotiation leverage for free. Unless you are prepared to make a formal offer, and have done so, it is stupid to do that.
Ironically, to say he is not interested in that player would be the same thing, only now he would be harming the player instead of the other team.
I have been critical of Wilson for being so secretive in the past, but in this case I agree. I even think it is a shame that anyone started talking about it. Rumors have teeth, and that particular player has already been the subject of Shark fan chatter. For example, Fear the Fin mentioned him about a week ago. (How much would you Pay for Marc Staal?) Yes, I’m talking about it too but I didn’t start it. Okay, I have no excuse. I am so ashamed.
Someone on the message board asked about Andy Sutton. He’s interesting. He evidently had a pretty good year last season, seems to have had some injury grief previously. I don’t know how teams evaluate that kind of situation. I would be leery of a player who’s had a lot of head injuries but beyond that I suppose one can call a recovery a recovery.
More than one player is being avoided for a history of head injuries. And I thought they didn’t care… is this more hypocrisy?
What kind of progress has been made on the head shot front? The playoffs are generally more disciplined than the regular season, as I understand it. So a lack of stupid or dirty hits there is not very indicative. I suppose no one will know until the season starts. Will elbows stay down? Will refs be as vigilant about any and every hit that looks like it may have been intended for the head? People do realize, don’t they, that bare-knuckle fights can cause as much concussive trauma as a hockey game, right? And then there’s secondary impact to the head from regular hits to the body. It all adds up. For God’s sake could someone please do their best to minimize stupid ways to scramble your brains?
I would get all in a huff about how long the off season negotiations are taking but ever since Nabby and Leights got settled I am not so anxious. I have looked at so many player stats that I can’t remember who I looked at or why. That has to qualify as a stupid way to scramble your brains, though I believe the effects are temporary. Also, I recognize that the off season is a little like a train yard and there are not enough tracks for all the trains to move at once. So, sort it out fellas, I’m going to go tend my own garden… for now.