Once again Doug Wilson’s management talents are under scrutiny. The trade deadline draws nigh. Players with no movement and no trade clauses are asked to submit lists of teams they would be willing to go to if need be.
With so much secrecy around such deals, I cannot know if San Jose is on any of those lists. But I would guess it is not.
During the off season, free agents almost without exception chose Eastern Conference teams, barring inflated salary offers. And when they did choose a Western Conference team, it was rarely San Jose.
The official line is that Doug Wilson won’t agree to inflated salaries or insanely long contracts. Okay. He gets a lot of praise for that. So explain the Wallin contract.
It is only a one year contract. It is not an unheard of salary for a professional athlete. I don’t begrudge Wallin the money or the position. But I do feel that the contract reveals something important about Wilson’s negotiating position.
To say Wilson is just not willing to pay the going rate for a player is to say he is incompetent. His job is to build a winning team. To fritter away the time he has left with his top forwards over nickle and dime trivia is unconscionable. It is also stupid.
I don’t think Wilson had any choice. I don’t think he was able to find any other defenseman for any price. Not a really good one.
That is assuming a lot. But assuming that, I have to ask why. Why would San Jose be a less attractive destination than LA or Vancouver?
Is it? Do Western Conference teams really have more trouble attracting talent? That is surprising. The Western Conference teams seem to be overachieving at a remarkable rate, according to the standings.
So what gives? If Doug Wilson does such a bang up job, if San Jose is not shunned as a destination, how is it that Wilson has yet to acquire one single defenseman? He acquired two goalies and three forwards since last season. The only thing the team needed, aside from a good goalie was a really good defenseman. Few would dispute that.
The market for defensemen has been tight. So everyone, other than Wilson, has been willing to overpay for this rare commodity. Wilson claims he is not willing to overpay anyone. Instead, he overpays Wallin, by market price, and gets no one else.
Either San Jose is uniquely unattractive as a destination for players or Doug Wilson isn’t as sharp as some claim. I don’t think Wilson is a dummy or a dupe.
But at some point he will have to account for that undisclosed factor. Why in the world was it so hard for him to add a great defenseman to San Jose?
Why don’t players like us, Doug?