Okay, But Will We Ever See Him?
The Sharks added some sorely needed enforcer muscle to their roster earlier this week by swapping a draft pick with Columbus for Jody Shelley. Ignoring the temptation to say, "oh, NOW you add a left wing," how much Shelley adds to the team when he's playing as opposed to fighting is questionable. Recently he had been a healthy scratch far more often than not, and while no one expects the team enforcer to also be an offensive force... no goals, no assists, a minus two, and shots on goal all year? On a team that's already offensively challenged (or whose offense is often quite offensive, if you prefer), this is hardly a luxury one can afford to run out there very often.
That all said, Shelley's role is to keep the peace lest someone on the other team decide taking a run at the Joe Thorntons of this world would not only be the ticket, but in addition go unpunished. However, if he doesn't play at least fairly regularly, what good is it having him on the roster? When Scott Parker was on the roster, he had a permanent seat in the press box during the playoffs while whoever was the opponent at the time was clocking Sharks with impunity. Are we going to see the same thing again this post-season -- an enforcer whose services are desperately needed yet are never called upon? Only Ron and Doug Wilson know the answer to that.