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Avs duo provides Sharks with depth and grit

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks were due for a shakeup Monday at the NHL Trade Deadline after their discouraging 2-6-1 road trip that sent them plummeting to seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race.

The only question was, how big? 

As it turned out, there were no earth-shattering deadline deals involving San Jose, or any other NHL team as Rick Nash and the rest of the League's elite players stayed put. But Sharks GM Doug Wilson swung a deal with Colorado for wingers T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik, two players he expects to play key roles in San Jose's  Stanley Cup Playoff push.

San Jose sent third-line winger Jamie McGinn and a pair of prospects -- left wing Mike Connelly and center Michael Sgarbossa -- to Colorado. The Sharks also received a 2013 seventh-round draft pick from Colorado.

Daniel Winnik
Left Wing - SJS
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 18
SOG: 155 | +/-: -11
"The high-profile players, I think were in play," Wilson said. "I think people dabbled around that. We were looking certainly around in that area also. When it became apparent that wasn't going to take place at this trade deadline, there were some important pieces we were looking to address: speed, grit, tenacity, penalty killing. We think we did that with both Daniel and T.J."
Wilson refused to say whether he ever came close to acquiring Nash, who listed San Jose among the teams for which he would play.
"That's another team's player," Wilson said. "Any conversation we have with any other GM is kept in confidence. We do make this be a place that players want to play and when players identify they want to be here we explore that. We've done that in the past whether it be Danny Boyle or Brent Burns, et cetera. There were many discussions that took place. But it was pretty apparent a while ago that none of the big deals were really going to take place and may, in fact, be more addressed in the summer time."
Galiardi and Winnik, who are close friends, heard the news they had been traded while they were at a Denver area restaurant, eating lunch before Colorado's Monday night game against Anaheim.

"I think my first impression was just elation," Galiardi said. "Things have been tough here for me this season. Not to go into anything specific, but I was just really happy to have a fresh start somewhere."
Two seasons ago, when Colorado pushed San Jose to six games in a first-round playoff series, Galiardi was an impressive and, to the Sharks, irritating player. Even though his playing time has dropped this year and he hasn't always seen "eye-to-eye" with Avalanche coach Joe Sacco, Galiardi said he's still the same player he was two years ago.

"I think my first impression was just elation. Things have been tough here for me this season. Not to go into anything specific, but I was just really happy to have a fresh start somewhere."
-- T.J. Galiardi

"Personally I think so," said Galiardi, drafted by Colorado at No. 55 in 2007. "There's one thing that has changed since then. I had a lot of confidence back then. This year I haven't had much confidence. If you have a fresh start, you can start new. I talked to Doug Wilson just a little bit ago. The first thing he said is I'd be treated with a lot more respect. I'm looking forward to it."
Winnik came to Colorado from Phoenix in a June 2010 trade that caught him off guard. This time, he expected to get a new NHL address and was excited when he heard he had been traded to San Jose.
"Obviously there was a lot of speculation about me being traded today," Winnik said. "When I wake up and turn on the NHL Network and they've got me on for trade bait, usually that's a pretty good indication that you're going to be moved. Very excited and welcomed the trade. I liked it here in Colorado. It was tough at times. You've got to move on. It's for the better, I think, come to a team that has their eyes set on winning the Stanley Cup."
Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray said he was sad to see McGinn leave, but he was happy to have Galiardi and Winnik on board.
"It's two guys that you definitely get irritated playing against," Murray said. "That's a compliment. Anytime people don't like playing against them they're doing something right. You're always happy to get those kinds of guys on your team. They both can score as well. They play the game right, they play it hard. They will be great additions to our team.
"Jamie deserves a lot of credit. He's played great this year for us. He's grown a lot as a hockey player and a person I would say, too. He's going to be missed here. But in order to get something you have to give something up. It's the nature of the beast. You're not getting anything good back unless you give up something good."
In Winnik, the Sharks have a player who should add toughness to their team. He's had four fights against Sharks during his career, including two against power forward Ryane Clowe. Winnik described himself as a "two-way player" who thinks defense first.

"Chip in offensively," he said. "Solid on the PK. Physical guy. Big and can skate. Very willing to fight for my teammates and fight when I have to."
Galiardi said he didn't make many friends while playing against the Sharks.
" I think (Murray) told me he was going to kill me a couple times," Galiardi said, laughing. "That's water under the bridge. I don't think a lot of guys over there were a big fan of me. But once you play together, everything changes. There's always guys that I've played against that I hated, then you play together and you can be great friends. I'm hoping that's the case there."
Neither Winnik nor Galiardi has been a big goal-scorer in the NHL. Galiardi has eight goals and six assists this season and had a career-high of 15 two seasons ago. Winnik has five goals and 13 assists this season. He's had a career-high 11 goals twice, first with Phoenix then with Colorado.
Winnik and Galiardi were scheduled to fly to San Jose on Monday night and will likely be in the lineup Tuesday night against Philadelphia.
The question is whether Sharks coach Todd McLellan will be on the bench for their first game. McLellan was accidentally struck in the head by the stick of Minnesota's Marco Scandella in the second period Sunday. He staggered to the dressing room and didn't return to the bench.
"I talked to Todd," Wilson said. "It scared all of us. When we first saw it happened, we weren't sure what had happened. I talked to his wife immediately. A lot of things go through your mind. We're very fortunate he's going to be OK. It's one of those things that gets your attention. He'll be fine. We'll make sure he sees the right doctors and we'll take good care of him like we would our players."
Wilson is still waiting for a trio of injured players -- Murray and wingers Martin Havlat and Dominic Moore -- to return. Havlat, recovering from surgery to repair a partially torn hamstring tendon, resumed skating last week and was on the ice Monday. Murray, who took a puck to his Adam's apple during the road trip, skated Monday but doesn't know when he'll return. Moore is out with a lower-body injury.
"I think you have to do something to bring the group a little bit of a boost," Wilson said of his trade Monday. "The three other guys coming back healthy, Dominic Moore, Marty Havlat and Douglas Murray, will be a big boost for our guys too. We may end up having more depth than we ever had before which creates competition. That's not the worst thing in the world either."
McGinn scored only one goal last season, but he's having a career year this season, skating on the third line. He has already set career highs for goals (12), assists (12) and points.

The Sharks drafted McGinn in the second round in 2006 with the No. 36 pick. He was one of San Jose's most physical forwards but struggled the few times he had a chance to skate on one of the Sharks' top lines.

Connelly, who signed with the Sharks as a free agent in April 2011, has 10 goals and 20 assists this season with San Jose's top minor-league affiliate, Worcerster of the AHL. The Sharks signed Sgarbossa as a free agent in September 2010. He's playing for Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League.

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