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Dan's View From Center Ice - 2/27/2012

by Dan Rusanowsky / San Jose Sharks

Greetings from 30,000 feet!

I’m sending this missive from an aircraft that is jetting its way across the country from St. Paul, Minnesota, following a bizarre night against the Wild that proved to be a microcosm of a disappointing 2-6-1 road trip. Not only did coach Todd McLellan get “coco-bopped” by an accidental Marco Scandella stick that got loose around the San Jose bench, but the Sharks had a 2-0 lead, led 3-2 in the third on a Brent Burns goal, then lost the game, 4-3, after Nick Schultz ended a 100-game goalless drought and former Shark Jed Ortmeyer notched his first goal since joining the Wild.

The only thing that was missing was Devin Setoguchi scoring his 100th career goal into an empty net, which was possible, since he was out there during the time that the Sharks had an extra attacker on the ice. Fortunately, that did not happen, but it wouldn’t have mattered, given the fact that the result was the same: a Sharks loss in regulation.

Following the game, we hurried to the airport, happy to know that home was but a four hour flight away. Well, not so fast. Some aircraft trouble, our first of the season, chose this occasion to rear its ugly head, and after the players took in their post-game meal on the plane, it was determined that we would return to the hotel in St. Paul and try again in the morning.

Rolling out today, we were all glued to the NHL Network coverage before getting on the plane, and were a bit surprised to notice that the Wild were involved in two deals: former Shark Brad Staubitz was picked up on waivers by Montreal, and Schultz, he of the one-game goal scoring streak, was traded to the Edmontonians for defenseman Tom Gilbert, Joe Pavelski’s old college teammate at Wisconsin.

But most of the discussion centered around all of the hype at the deadline, but little action. Still, I caution you as we get to the actual deadline time: things will likely move quickly and furiously as the fax machines start whirring.

That reminds me of one of the first trade deadline stories in Sharks history: it was Year One, and the Sharks had just traded Bob McGill to Detroit in exchange for Johan Garpenlov, one-third of the famous “OV” line that had yet to be constructed. An offer from Washington for Link Gaetz had not been successfully executed, so the legendary Linkster would remain in the Bay Area for a while longer. But leading scorer Kelly Kisio was supposedly moved to Chicago for a draft selection.

The problem was that the NHL communicated deals officially by fax machine in those days. When the Sharks tried to reach the NHL fax machine, they got a busy signal! A call to the League office brought a supposed confirmation that the trade would be accepted, but after the fax went through, technically after the deadline, the so-called agreement was called off.

So, Kelly Kisio went from valuable member of the Sharks to new member of the Blackhawks to valuable member of the Sharks to a state of limbo, until the League ruled that he would stay with San Jose. All Kisio did was finish the season with honor, and then have a 78-point year the next season that would stand for a number of years as the single most points a Sharks player had scored in one campaign. Joe Thornton currently holds that record, of course.

Also, on Deadline Day, the Sharks ended up picking up Vincent Damphousse, and that was an interesting acquisition. You see, the Sharks had just played Montreal, and the Canadiens were headed to Edmonton, while the Sharks were headed to Toronto, as I recall. In those days, coverage at the deadline began from the moment of the actual deadline (noon Eastern). So, the very first item up for discussion was the trade of Damphousse to the Sharks in a deal that came together at the last minute.

Vinny, of course, found out when his plane landed, and he joined the Sharks on a separate flight. Then, in several memorable Sharks seasons, he helped build the culture of competitive hockey that still exists today.

Of course, there have been a number of trades in Sharks Deadline History, some with bigger names, some with less prominent players involved. In 2007, the Sharks picked up Bill Guerin from St. Louis for Ville Nieminen, Jay Barriball, and New Jersey’s first round selection that the Sharks had previously acquired. In 2008, the Sharks picked up Brian Campbell from Buffalo for a first round selection and Steve Bernier, who was also picked in the first round, while simultaneously moving defenseman Rob Davison to the Islanders for a 7th round selection in the upcoming draft.

In 2009, the Sharks moved Nick Bonino and Timo Pielmeier to Anaheim for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins, while trading Kyle McLaren to Philadelphia for a draft pick. But no major deals have occurred at the Deadline since then.

This year, as they have in the past, the Sharks have made moves in advance of the deadline. They picked up Dominic Moore from Tampa Bay on this trip, right after the Sharks lost to the Lightning in overtime. But Moore has yet to make an impact, as he was injured in the middle of his third game with San Jose.

But action indicates that the Sharks will be active on Deadline Day. The likelihood is that we’ll find out about it as we cruise at 30,000 feet, making our way back home.

BULLETIN: We have just found out that Jamie McGinn has been traded to the Colorado Avalanche with Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa, two good prospects. Coming back to the Sharks: T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik, two wingers who can skate and body-check,

Jamie McGinn just found out that his life changed while on a backup aircraft at 30,000 feet. He is collecting his thoughts and talking to his newly-ex-teammates as he ponders those changes. At another location, the ex-Avs are thinking about joining the men in Teal.
What a long, strange trip it’s been!

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