I’ve blogged to this point about the tribulations of the 2007 offseason. Free agent departures, skyrocketing contracts, some old guy that showed up, and butt-ugly jerseys have led me to become somewhat disenfranchised.
But really, all of that represents the gray lining on the silver cloud. The Sharks:
- Play in a weakened division,
- Retained Ron Wilson and Patrick Marleau, two individuals for which there was no possible upgrade,
- Return with the majority of the cast that fell a hair shy of the 2nd best record in the NHL last year,
- Feature young and improving players like Milan Michalek, Matt Carle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic,
- Send out one of the best goalies in the league night-in and night-out. If you forgot, Nabokov went 25-16 with a 2.29 GAA, 9.14 SV%, and 7 shutouts…
- And have the best player and playmaker in the league, Joe Thornton.
The moral: in spite of a tepid offseason, the Sharks are still one of the best teams in the league. Even more impressive, they are still way under the salary cap and only increased their assets. (Really, their draft was spectacular – they removed the log jam in the net and dead weight with
So, bucketheads, approach this season with cautious optimism. It will be a long 82 game grind to the playoffs, where the true mettle of our boys will be tested.