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Doug Wilson and the Trade Deadline: A Brief History

I am the Ghost of Trade Deadlines Past

St Louis Blues v San Jose Sharks - Game Four
Thank you Optimus Reim
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Doug Wilson has been the General Manager of the San Jose Sharks Hockey Club since May 2003. Let's take a stroll down memory lane, and look at what the Sharks have done at the trade deadline in each season of his tenure. We'll include trades made within a week of the actual deadline, but most of the trades below were made on deadline day. As we shall see, the Sharks have run the full gamut of deadline options over the years--from buyers to sellers (of sorts) to spectators. The one constant is a willingness to ship out players while they still have some value.

Year: 2004

Record at the deadline: 33-19-11-6 (remember ties? Pepperidge Farms remembers)

The trades: In a three-way trade, the Sharks acquire Curtis Brown at the expense of Jeff Jillson and Brad Boyes; Sharks acquire F Jason Marshall from Minnesota for a 2004 5th round pick.

Breakdown: In Wilson's first year as general manager, he sent out two young players with good pedigrees (both Jillson and Boyes were former first round picks; Boyes was the highly regarded prospect at the center of the return the Sharks got for trading Owen Nolan a year earlier) for a depth, defensive center in Brown. Marshall was a veteran near the end of his career.

End result: A year after missing the playoffs and trading the face of the franchise, the Sharks made a run to the Western Conference Finals. They lost to their old backup goalie (Kipprusoff), who had been traded to the Flames earlier in the season. Jillson never really panned out as the offensive-defenseman that he was touted as, but Brad Boyes wound up being a solid offensive producer, who even cracked the 40 goal mark once.

Year: 2005

Record at the deadline: 0-0-0

The trades: None

Breakdown: Bettman lockout 2.0 cost us an entire season

End result: salary cap, parity, escrow, hockey-related revenue, the shoot out

Year: 2006

Record at the deadline: 29-23-9

The trades: Sharks acquire Ville Nieminen from the New York Rangers for a 3rd; Niko Dimitrakos is shipped to Philadelphia for a 3rd;

Breakdown: Doug Wilson made his big acquisition in November, acquiring Joe Thornton for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm, & Wayne Primeau. At the deadline, he did some minor tinkering.

End result: Nothing really came from the picks that were involved in these trades. The Sharks lost to Chris Pronger and his Oilers in the second round.

Year: 2007

Record at the deadline: 38-24-1

The trades: Ville Nieminen, Jason Barbarill, 2007 1st round pick to St Louis for Bill Guerin; Scott Parker to Colorado for 2007 6th round pick; Nolan Schaeffer to Pittsburgh for 2007 7th round pick

Breakdown: For the first time in Wilson's tenure as GM, the Sharks made a big acquisition at the deadline. Guerin was in the later stage of his career, but he could still score; he had eight goals in his sixteen games with the Sharks. Unfortunately, this didn't carry over to the playoffs, when he registered just two assists.

End result: A six-game loss to the Red Wings in the second round. The 7th acquired from Pittsburgh was used to draft Justin Braun. St Louis used the 1st round pick on David Perron. Guerin signed with the Islanders in July.

Year: 2008

Record at the deadline: 34-21-8

The trades: Rob Davidson to the New York Islanders for a 2008 7th round pick; Steve Bernier and a 2008 1st round pick to Buffalo for Brian Campbell and a 2008 7th round pick

Breakdown: For the second straight year, the Sharks acquired a big time player on an expiring contract.

End result: Another second round exit, this time at the hands of Dallas. Campbell signed a big contract with Chicago. The pick acquired from the Islanders was used to draft Jason Demers.

Year: 2009

Record at the deadline: 42-11-10

The trades: The Sharks traded Nick Bonino and Timo Pielmeier to Anaheim for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins. Kyle McLaren was traded to Philadelphia, but the trade was nullified when McLaren failed a physical.

Breakdown: After getting burned by big deadline acquisitions in the previous two seasons, the Sharks added a couple of depth players. The team was rolling to its best ever record, and rather than going all-in, Wilson did some tinkering on the edges.

End result: Sharks won the Presidents Trophy! (And for some reason the playoffs were cancelled that season. I forget why, but I am 100% sure there were no playoffs in 2009. Seriously, I don't want to talk about it.)

[Editor’s Note: This Bonino trade f*cking stunk at the time and it stinks now. God dammit.]

Year: 2010

Record at the deadline: 40-14-9

The trades: The Sharks acquired Brett Westgarth from the New York Islanders for future considerations.

Breakdown: Wilson made his additions earlier in the season, prior to the Olympic break in late February. Specifically, he acquired Niclas Wallin for a second, and sent Jody Shelley to the Rangers for a conditional late round pick.

End result: The Sharks were swept in the Western Conference Final by Chicago. Westgarth never played in the NHL.

Year: 2011

Record at the deadline: 36-21-6

The trades: None

Breakdown: The closest trade the Sharks made to the deadline was acquiring Ian White from Carolina for Derek Joslin and a second round pick a month before the deadline.

End result: The Sharks got back to the Western Conference Final, this time losing in five contentious games to Vancouver.

Year: 2012

Record at the deadline: 32-22-7

The trades: the Sharks traded Jamie McGinn, Mike Connolly, and Michael Sgarbossa to Colorado for Daniel Winnik, TJ Galiardi, and a 2012 7th round pick.

Breakdown: More tinkering at the edges. I remember a lot of fans being upset at McGinn being shipped out, but Winnik was a capable replacement.

End result: A forgettable five game loss to St Louis in the first round.

Year: 2013

Record at the deadline: 19-11-6 (Bettman lockout mk. 3)

The trades: Douglas Murray traded to Pittsburgh for 2nd round picks in 2013 &2014; Ryane Clowe was sent to the New York Rangers for a 2nd & a 3rd in 2013 and a conditional 2nd in 2014; Michal Handzus was traded to Chicago for a 4th in 2014; Tyler Kennedy was acquired for a 2nd in 2013; old friend Scott Hannan was brought back from Nashville for a 7th in 2013; and finally, Wilson send a 2013 3rd round pick to Phoenix for Raffi Torres.

Breakdown: Doug Wilson did a great job of getting value for players who were at or near the end of their productive years. Murray and Clowe had been core members, but were sent out of town for a haul that looks unbelievable when we look at how their careers went after leaving San Jose. Beyond this, it was another year of depth additions to shore up the third and fourth lines.

End result: From all the picks they acquired, the best players drafted were Noah Rodd and Rourke Chartier. Torres' time with the Sharks did not end well. The Sharks lost a brutal seven game series to the Kings in the second round.

Year: 2014

Record at the deadline: 39-16-7

The trades: None

Breakdown: Even prior to the Olympic break, the organization only made one trade, and it involved AHL players.

End result: You already know what happened. Please don't make me say it.

Year: 2015

Record at the deadline: 30-25-8

The trades: James Sheppard was sent to the New York Rangers for a 4th in 2016; Andrew Desjardins was traded to Chicago for Ben Smith and a 7th in 2017; Freddie Hamilton was traded to Colorado for Karl Stollery; Tyler Kennedy was sent to the New York Islanders for a 3rd in 2016.

Breakdown: With the team fighting for a playoff spot, Wilson added mid and late round picks in future drafts. It is a decent return for players who weren't terribly good or important to the success of the club. The team had some obvious needs, particularly on the blue line, but this was not addressed until the upcoming offseason.

End result: The Sharks decided that the playoffs were totally lame and only nerds wanted to go to the playoffs, so have fun hanging out with losers like Vancouver & Calgary while the cool kids are doing cooler things than you.

Year: 2016

Record at the deadline: 33-22-6

The trades: San Jose traded two second round picks (in 2017 & 2018) along with Raffi Torres to Toronto for Nick Spaling and Roman Polak. Less than a week later, the Sharks acquired James Reimer and Jeremy Morin from Toronto in exchange for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith, and a conditional 2018 4th round pick.

Breakdown: The Sharks needed a sixth defenseman, especially after Matt Tennyson suffered a concussion. Roman Polak was paired with Brenden Dillon. It did not go well, for anybody. The Sharks also needed a backup goalie, as Alex Stalock had struggled in that role. James Reimer was more than a capable backup to Martin Jones. In a strange scenario, Torres, who had been playing in the AHL, was loaned back to the Barracuda.

End result: The Sharks made their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Maybe the playoffs can be cool. Also, Northern California got to bask in the presence of James Reimer for a few months.