Within a span of four days, Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manger has completely revamped the Sharks blueline and with one goal in mind. Not only has Wilson added All-Stars in Dan Boyle and Rob Blake, but along with Brad Lukowich, he brought in three Stanley Cup winners in the process.
Plus, the Sharks now have two dominant power play men.
“We have two big righthanded shots,” said Wilson. “We’ve brought experience to our defense and made it better. As I sit here today, I like our hockey team. The key guys are in their prime. We’re going to continue to push to get where we want to go.”
In addition to winning, all three players can play a tough game, and Lukowich is excited about ramping up the physical play.
“I love to hit and block shots,” said Lukowich. “I’m not a fancy player, more old school. I think the West is more rough and tough and that’s a good fit for me.”
For Wilson, grabbing Boyle was a very simple proposition even though he gave up some talent in return.
“Obviously, it is very rare when a player like Boyle is available,” said Wilson. “He is an elite player who has won a Cup. When you get an opportunity to get that type of player, you have to step up.”
Boyle possessed a no-trade clause, but agreed to waive it for the purpose of arriving in San Jose.
“We take it as a great compliment that he had options and chose San Jose,” said Wilson.
Part of the reason is Boyle wants to return to the type of winning that brought him a ring.
“I’ve been to the top of the mountain and been on the worst team in the league,” said Boyle. “Last year was horrible for me and I completely want to forget that.”
Lukowich has similar feelings.
“I’ve had a long Stanley Cup run where we were successful and one where we weren’t successful,” said Lukowich. “I know what it takes to win.”
TRIED BEFORE Like Blake, Wilson acknowledged looking into acquiring Boyle previously.
“It’s accurate to say we’ve had conversations about this player,” said Wilson. “We’ve always thought he was a great player, especially under these rules.”
For Boyle, it was a difficult time dealing with being traded when he had a no trade clause, but he is happy where he landed.
“I’m not going to lie,” said Boyle. “It’s been pretty tough. We took a peek and San Jose was the team we wanted. I’m excited that the team will not just contend next year, but for the next six years.”
Boyle noted it was a family decision along with his wife, who he married just weeks ago.
PARTNER? Could the two acquisitions in Tampa Bay be a new combination in San Jose?
“Brad was my partner the year we won the Cup and for two to three years in a row,” said Boyle.
FRIENDS Boyle and Lukowich were happy they came together as they are also good friends.
“He is one of my closest friends over the years,” said Lukowich of Boyle. “He’s definitely a factor why I went to Tampa.”
FAMILIAR Through international competition and a few odd bits of history, Boyle has played with several Sharks players.
“I played with Thornton and Marleau, Blake in the Olympics and Nabokov in Kentucky,” said Boyle.
COTTAGE Boyle is headed to his summer cottage for a few well-deserved days of rest and relaxation.