Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson stood pat on the final day the NHL allowed trades for the 2009-10 season. He already made his big splash prior to the Olympic break with the acquisition of Niclas Wallin, but did investigate some smaller possibilities.
“We’re confident and we believe in the players we have and the players from Worcester who would have been here without the cap system,” said Wilson. “There were a couple of players we talked about who we didn’t know if their team would move them or not and they decided not to.”
The players are more than confident in the group they have in front of them.
“I think they addressed things a little earlier than the deadline,” said Sharks Captain Rob Blake.
“I think it’s a message we have a good team,” said Evgeni Nabokov. “We as players, you think what you have is good enough. If a team is near the top, they should be able to do it in the playoffs.”
The trade deadline passed with a little less fanfare than normal, partially because a couple of trades prior to the Olympic break.
“It’s probably the most predictable deadline we’ve seen in years,” said Wilson. “We had two weeks and a lot of emotions were taken out of it.”
Wilson noted the confidence in Marc-Edouard Vlasic
’s health was another reason he felt comfortable standing pat.
“He’ll be back for at least the last 10 to 11 games,” said Wilson.
Players Wilson mentioned from Worcester who could find more time in San Jose included Jamie McGinn (a third line element), Fraser McLaren (toughness), Logan Couture
(one of the AHL’s best players) and Benn Ferriero
(having an outstanding year).
“They will be part of this team going forward,” said Wilson.
Fans watching last night’s Sharks game may have noticed a difference with their goalie. After a long stint with his previous design, Nabokov now has a different paint job on his mask.
The primary feature on the top is a bare chested Neptune-like figure with long, flowing hair.
“The first time I saw it I thought it looked like Ricci,” said a smiling Nabokov. “I wanted it to look more like the Shark, but it came out like Ricci.”
Sharks Assistant Athletic Trainer Wes Howard helped prompt the move to a newer look.
“Wes thought for a while it was time for a new (look) and he came up with something,” said Nabokov.
The back portion of the mask features the state seal of California, along with the names of several important people in his life, including Warren Strelow, his kids and friend who helped him transition to life in America.
While he has ideas for the input, Nabokov leaves the actual design to others.
“I have such a bad imagination,” said Nabokov.
The Sharks reassigned Dwight Helminen and Jason Demers
to Worcester of the American Hockey League.
Fans can see some of the medals earned by Sharks Olympians on Thursday night near the Sharks Foundation booth from the times the doors open until the second intermission concludes.
San Jose will host Montreal Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at HP Pavilion and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.