San Jose Sharks enters the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline with more questions than in years past

With a 2-6-1 road trip coming to a brutal end last night against Minnesota the San Jose Sharks enter today's NHL Trade Deadline in a land foreign and strange-- seventh in the West, second in the Pacific, and in an absolute dog fight for the Division title.

It's a peculiar place to be certain, especially for an organization that has by and large entered the deadline looking to add pieces without subtracting from their current roster. Today, for the first time in a long long time, I think it's up in the air whether or not that history predicts future results.

Over the years two things have become abundantly clear about Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and his excellent scouting staff-- they are extremely measured and methodical, never making a move based off of emotions or recent streaks. Every move the organization makes has an eye towards long-term and sustained success; nothing is done on a whim in reaction to results, as long as those results don't necessarily reflect how the team is performing.

The second is that every move this organization makes is predicated upon winning a Stanley Cup. The window is here, the window is now, and all of their acquisitions in the short term are dedicated to that cause. Giving up futures in the form of draft picks or prospects isn't an issue as the confidence in the scouting staff to find value in mid to late round picks (displayed by their historical dominance in this area) knows no bounds.

These two things will be what defines San Jose's experience today during Trade Deadline 2012. The question of whether or not they believe this team needs a shakeup or whether or not this team is good enough to compete for a Stanley Cup when Douglas Murray, Martin Havlat, and Dominic Moore return to the lineup is the key that will be pondered, considered, and leafed over in the hours leading up to the 12 PM deadline.

You have players like Paul Gaustad and Mikhail Grabovski, pending unrestricted free agents who would likely cost little in the way of roster players. And then you have a guy like Rick Nash, a player who would represent a lofty shakeup of the current roster considering the price that would likely be paid for his services.

And then you have the typical DW sleeper acquisition, a player acquired out of seemingly nowhere that helps the team make another deep playoff run.

The questions, the considerations, the assessment-- it all ends today at 12 PM Pacific.

Let the games begin.