FanPost

Trust in DW

With all the criticism on this site about Doug Wilson, the Sharks offseason moves, and their alleged upcoming moves, I think people are missing something: Doug Wilson is a damn good NHL GM, and you are not. Who says he’s good? Well, if you want to look up an "expert" top ten list, you’ll find him. And while you might point out the guy ahead of him on the list just got canned, I think most of us feel that in NHL circles, Wilson is viewed as a savvy GM, unlike this guy. And I think we can agree that assembling a team with the third longest active playoff streak in all major North American sports is nice to have on the resume.

But to me, and I think most people would agree, the most important job of a GM in any major sport is to manage his team’s drafts. As in, "You build a winning team through the draft." Over the past decade, while the Sharks have been nowhere near the draft lottery, their drafts are near the top of the league in both Games Played and Points by draft picks, and in other measures. Of course scouts and other people in the organization also get credit for their draft success, but the bottom line is Wilson manages the organization and is ultimately responsible for the picks. Does anyone think a scout made the deal in 2007 to give away multiple picks to trade up four spots and select Logan Couture over other supposedly higher-rated players? Wilson has earned his draft props, plain and simple.

Now that’s not to say that Wilson doesn’t make draft mistakes, free agency mistakes, and trade mistakes; every GM does. Overall, what Wilson has tried to do is build through the draft and make smart trades to improve this team, instead of overpaying for top free agents. Any sports fan worth his or her salt will tell you that is the best formula for building a good team, and he has.

Now go ahead… pull out the big guns and blame Wilson for not putting together a team that could win the Cup. To that, I say being a GM is not an exact science. When you add a new player to a team, you can never be sure of the fit. (Ryan Miller makes the Blues Cup favorites… cough, cough.) All a GM can do is put together a team with the ability to win, and hire a coach that will help them win, but it is the players who must come through and actually win the Cup. A decade of playoffs and good-drafting is the most proof anyone can ask that Doug Wilson can build a winning team and keep it winning. And he has made aggressive trades (Thornton, Heatley, Burns, etc.) to try to make this team better. You want to F*ck the Sharks, then replace him with a mediocre GM. I trust Wilson to build this team, and rebuild this team as he sees fit, to bring Sharks fans the Cup.

While many feel justified whining that trading Jumbo is insane (even though there are only thinly-veiled threats to trade him at this point) and flipping out about signing Mike Brown for $1.2M for two years, how is Doug Wilson not justified if he wants to focus on these 2014 playoff numbers:

GP

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

Hits

Bks

Joe Thornton

7

2

1

3

-6

8

8

3

Mike Brown

6

1

1

2

1

26

25

4

Who didn’t raise their game? Who didn’t earn their money? Who was responsible for the 0-16 streak on the power play? Who was on the ice when third-liner Toffoli scored to make it 1-3 in Game 7? Who would you point the finger at?

For years I blamed East Coast bias for those who couldn’t look past Jumbo’s Bruins shortcomings to see that he had picked up his game in the playoffs here. But I can’t look past this year’s playoffs and his total failure as Captain, and I am shocked so many others can. But it doesn’t matter what I think. I don’t know anything. If Doug Wilson thinks Jumbo Joe must go, after meeting with the coaches and players (not to mention seeing what has happened behind the scenes that we have no idea about), then I’m on the bandwagon.

(Side note: if you want to say F*CK THE SHARKS, then GET THE F*CK OFF THE BANDWAGON. And I can’t emphasize "bandwagon" enough.)

I’ve watched the Sharks from their first year and have been a season ticket-holder since 2001. That Nolan-Teemu team with Cup aspirations that missed the playoffs in 2003 and then got blown up was a hard pill to swallow, but that young team the next season worked hard, overachieved and quickly won the fans over. Not only that, as you’ll recall, that young team ended up making the playoffs and coming closer to a Cup than any of Jumbo’s teams have. Now we can’t expect the exact same results with this rebuild, but I believe Wilson when he talks about taking one or two steps back before moving forward. I tend to think the steps back won’t be as bad as some people think (and I’m not the only one) and there is nothing in Wilson’s track record to indicate that he won’t be able to rebuild a winner.

So, in conclusion, trust DW, Jumbo Joe must go, and Mike Brown at $0.8M for 1 year vs. $1.2 for 2 years doesn’t matter in the least (and in no way prevents younger players from earning a roster spot). Oh, and I’ll miss Drew too, but I can guarantee that he won’t win any team a Cup. Put your pitchforks, torches and rope away until the team actually becomes the Calgary Flames or we see any real step toward the team leaving town. When one of those days come, I’ll help you lead the charge, but for now, give Doug Wilson his due.




This item was created by a member of this blog's community and is not necessarily endorsed by Fear The Fin.

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