Editor’s Note: Inspired by Andrew Sharp’s excellent #HotSportsTakes series at Grantland (R.I.P.), we will occasionally attempt to write the worst Sharks column on the internet. This is satire (or an attempt, at least), and should not be taken seriously.
Today, we publish the pre-write of a free agency column.
There’s nothing “free” about free agency.
Not for the teams and their general managers, who hand out enormous contracts every Canada Day like the Royal Ontario Museum hands out free tickets on Canada Day. Not for the players, who have to uproot their families and give their agents a cut of their new financial windfall.
Yet every July 1, we see franchises make the same mistakes over and over again. They’re all Timmy, constantly falling into the well, only Lassie isn’t there to save them from their own mistakes. Father Time may be undefeated, but Mother Bad Contracts is coming for that record.
San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson dipped his toe into the pool of free agency in the past two offseasons, signing Paul Martin, Joel Ward, David Schlemko, and Mikkel Boedker after staying on the pool deck for years. He’s gone in and the water’s largely been fine, even as the Sharks lost Schlemko for free in the Expansion Draft and Boedker underwhelmed in his first season in San Jose. But Wilson has never really dove in.
That all should change with [Insert Free Agent Here].
Wilson doesn’t have to worry about giving a bad contract to [Insert Free Agent Here], because it will be money well spent. You see, [Insert Free Agent’s Last Name] can keep the Sharks’ Stanley Cup window wide open. He was so good last season for [Insert Free Agent’s Team Here], scoring [Insert Number Of Points Here, Unless Those Totals Are Statistically Unimpressive, Then Replace With Another Statistic That Makes The Player Seem Impressive].
More importantly, he brings [Insert Quality The Sharks Lacked Last Season]. Last year, San Jose was just [Statistic Representative Of Quality The Sharks Last Season], a far cry from what’s needed to win a Stanley Cup.
Could you see [Insert Veteran I’ve Heavily Criticized Here] doing what [Insert Free Agent Here] does on a nightly basis? Do you want [Insert Other Player I’ve Also Criticized Here] teaching [Insert Names Of Promising Young Prospects Who I Had To Look Up Online While Writing This Article Here] how to play the game, or do you want them learning from [Insert Free Agent’s Last Name Here]
And let’s face it, folks: this team is in desperate need of a change.
The Sharks have failed to make it to the postseason or advance out of the first round in four of the last six seasons. San Jose’s magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16 was just that: magic, and it’s run out.
San Jose won’t need magic to win if they sign [Insert Free Agent Here]. He’s just what they need to compete against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, and upstart Edmonton Oilers. What [Insert Quality These Teams Lack Here] these teams lack, [Insert Free Agent’s Last Name Here] brings in spades.
It’s time for Doug Wilson to leave the comfort of the shallow end, climb the steps to the diving board, and jump. Whether he dives in headfirst, or goes for the cannonball, he just needs to do one thing.
Make a splash, and sign [Insert Free Agent Here].