2012 NHL Trade Deadline: San Jose Sharks Acquire TJ Galiardi and Daniel Winnik from Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jamie McGinn, Michael Sgarbossa, and Mike Connelly

In a move to bolster their lower line depth in preparation for the playoff push, the Sharks traded Jamie McGinn to Colorado in exchange for Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi.

San Jose also gave up futures in the deal, with Michael Sgarbossa and Mike Connelly heading to the Avalanche. The Sharks received a 7th round draft pick back.

In essence, San Jose did two things with this deal-- acquired two gritty and defensively responsible roster players to further bolster their lower lines and gave a nod of confidence to Martin Havlat's injury as he continues to recuperate from a hamstring injury sustained in late December.

Daniel Winnik brings to the team excellent defensive responsibility, something that has been sorely lacking as of late in the Sharks struggles during their recent East Coast road trip where they went 2-6-1. Last season he finished first on the team in terms of relative CORSI despite being loaded up on defensive zone starts, a good sign that he is able to push the play in the right direction. Combined with his ridiculous shorthanded ice time numbers (he averaged 3:02 with Colorado this season), as well as the fact that he's received lofty praise playing on a pure as the driven snow grind line earlier this season, Winnik is clearly an add made to bolster the Sharks lower lines defensive responsibility.

"We feel that T.J. and Daniel bring some additional size, speed, and penalty killing ability to our existing group of forwards," Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said via team release.

The second addition of TJ Galiardi is one that comes with more risk but significantly more upside. Mirroring Jamie McGinn's season last year to some degree, Galiardi entered this season with high hopes after an injury plagued 2010-2011 campaign. With 8 goals and 6 assists he hasn't been able to meet the expectations many had him for during a 39 point campaign in 2009-2010, struggling to find consistency despite receiving the opportunity to skate in the Avalanche top six during portions of this year. His underlying statistics haven't been spectacular to say the least, but in my mind he's the player in this deal with the highest ceiling.

An excellent skater who has had flashes of brilliant hands, Galiardi is a fierce forechecker who should replenish the scoring depth San Jose lost in the loss of Jamie McGinn. Along with Winnik, Galiardi will add to the Sharks depth on the penalty kill as they attempt to be much stronger defensively in front of a goaltending corps that has struggled as of late.

In essence, Doug Wilson did what he is wont to do this time of year-- add depth to his role players, take a marginal risk by moving a good player in Jamie McGinn, but double down on those efforts by adding a pair of players who are young and still coming into their prime.

It wasn't the blockbuster deal some felt San Jose would make, nor was it a clear cut top six forward that would help shore up their top-end scoring depth. Most importantly, it was a nod of confidence to Martin Havlat's injury situation and a statement that if the Sharks are going to go deep, it's their top players who will carry the day.

Heading into the postseason I expect the top three lines will be constructed as follows:

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat/Tommy Wingels

Daniel Winnik - Dominic Moore - TJ Galiardi/Martin Havlat

The fourth line is where things get a little muddied. Tommy Wingels has proved as of late that he is deserving of a playoff spot-- do you slide him onto the second line and roll Havlat on the third, bumping down TJ Galiardi to the fourth line? Brad Winchester is pretty much a lock on that fourth line, but what about Torrey Mitchell, Michal Handzus, and Andrew Desjardins? Where do they end up?

Only time will tell.

More later.