When I woke up at 8 a.m., I thought I heard a large thud in the distance. It, of course, was *another* piece of the sky falling in San Jose. For those not caught up, the Sharks traded Raffi Torres and a pair of second-round draft picks to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Roman Polak and Nick Spaling.
The reaction to this trade has not been great — and that makes sense. Those are a lot of assets to give away for a bottom pairing guy and a fourth-liner. Dumping the Torres contract, and whatever blood curse he comes with, is nice, but that doesn't really move the balance back in the Sharks favor.
Still, your acceptance (or not) of this trade should be based on a couple of key things.
Are the new pieces upgrades?
Polak almost certainly provides an upgrade over Dylan Demelo, at least in the short term. Demelo has been fine with the Sharks as a sixth defender, but despite having a not-so-great season in Toronto, I think Polak provides an upgrade on that front.
Spaling is a depth piece that, god willing, keeps the Sharks from playing Mike Brown. Personally, I would have liked to see the Sharks call up someone like Nikolay Goldobin first to see what they have, but perhaps the organization feels any current Barracuda can't hack it at the NHL level. Spaling is far from great (or good, for that matter) but he should be able to do a job for the Sharks if used properly. I know, if.
How do you value these draft picks?
After years of analysts saying the Sharks window is coming to a close...the Sharks window is coming to a close. With Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau on their way out sooner rather than later, San Jose's time to win a cup is right now. This isn't the cup-or-bust type move that's actually going to get San Jose to the finals (please let me be wrong) but these draft picks aren't worth much anyway.
This will not be heralded as one of Doug Wilson's better trades. He gave up too much for a couple of mediocre players. That being said, Wilson did not give up pieces that will negatively impact the Sharks ability to compete for a cup this year (in my opinion). Losing the assets obviously impacts future trades, but I'm not so sure that'll be the difference between getting another deal done and not leading to the trade deadline on Feb. 29.
It's not a great trade, but it's not the end of the world, either. How's that for a lukewarm take?