April 23, 2015
For fans everywhere in the world it is difficult to see their favorite team missing the season goals. The Sharks had a good run for many years and made it three times to the conference finals, but that’s not enough when the competition from Southern California won the cup three times in the same time frame.
We got fortunate when we acquired Joe Thornton in a trade and had with Todd McLellan an excellent head coach. What was the missing piece? Was it drafting, trading, rental players, we tried them all. We clearly had a window of opportunity, but the NHL has a very balanced constitution which doesn’t allow for money to become the dominant factor. You can’t buy a team, you have to build it which is very fair. And after you traded picks for ready-to-play veterans, you sooner or later have to start rebuilding the team. We had hoped that we can do both, stay competitive and rebuild at the same time. It was close but the other teams in our conference were better, at least throughout the whole season and deservedly finished ahead of us. Remember where we were end of January in the standings? Now the question is should we have traded for reinforcements and block the young hopefuls from playing or should we have started the rebuilding process even a year or two earlier?
The answer is that it doesn’t matter anymore, we are where we are. Seven young players made the team, another few hopefuls with great success stories in the juniors can be watched playing for the Barracuda next season. Once we committed ourselves to the rebuild we had to steer straight, even if there was some disappointment.
The management, John and Doug, did a good job. We are trying to finalize with the City of San Jose a new arena deal keeping the Sharks at home. We are trying but have not been successful to change the unfavorable TV deal the Sharks management signed a while ago. On the other hand, we got the organization streamlined and focused on hockey. The coaching staff had been outstanding, the seven continuous years with Head Coach McLellan is a testimony of that. The rebuild is in full progress, the team is now amongst the youngest in the league and has a great future.
The fans can be reassured that the ownership and the management are committed to do everything possible in order to achieve sustainable success. I want to thank them and the loyal season ticket holders and corporate partners for their support. Are we perfect? No, not all moves will play out as thought and the competition will do everything to keep us at bay. But we have a tremendous core, the older players are still fully committed, and some of the sophomores will enter their third year. With some luck in the draft this summer and a new team behind the bench we will fully attack again and show some good sport. The goal will always be to reach the playoffs and win 16 games there in one season.