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Wilson Dealt Early, Listened Until Deadline

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Watch Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson speak with James Duthie on TSN's Tradecentre prior to the Trade Deadline on February 28, 2011.

When the National Hockey League’s trade deadline came and passed at Noon Pacific Time Monday, Executive Vice President Doug Wilson chose to stand pat with his current roster. Truth be told, Wilson was active with trades, but chose to reinforce his club much earlier than the NHL-imposed deadline.

That’s Wilson’s preferred method of operation as it allows even more time for the new parts to gel. Kyle Wellwood and Ben Eager joined the Sharks on Jan. 20. Since Ian White arrived four games ago, the Sharks are 4-0-0.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson acquired left wing Ben Eager on Jan 18 from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. On that same day, Wilson claimed center Kyle Wellwood off waivers from St. Louis. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
“We’ve made a lot of changes and there’s a lot of growth from last year,” Wilson said. “We feel like we have four new players in Wellwood, Eager, White and a young defenseman in Justin Braun.”

That’s not to say Wilson wasn’t listening up until the last minute.

“Sometimes things come out of left field. We’ve done big deals in the past, whether it’s (Joe) Thornton, (Dan) Boyle or (Dany) Heatley. You never know when those deals will arrive,” Wilson said.

San Jose is one of the hottest clubs in the NHL and there’s no reason to alter the chemistry just for the sake of doing it.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” Wilson said. “It’s how you’re playing at the end of the year and you just knock on wood you’re healthy.”

Sharks defenseman Ian White was acquired by Wilson on Feb 18 from the Carolina Huricanes in exchange for a second round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
Wilson feels when his current club when playing at their peak can go a long way.

“Just playing to our capability,” Wilson said of what else he might be looking for. “I think everybody in the League would say they are looking for a centerman or a defenseman. Supply and demand dictates that’s not a reality.”

Wilson isn’t one to worry about reacting to what others do, but would rather just focus on being satisfied internally.

“I think this is the final day you can alter your team, so that plays into it, but you start building your team in July,” Wilson said. “You identify what your needs are and you forecast the growth of some of your younger players. The Western Conference in particular, you have to play very, very well just to get into the playoffs.”

The Sharks players are grateful for the efforts ownership and Wilson have recently made to better the franchise.

“Doug (and the owners) have been doing stuff to help our hockey club the couple of weeks leading up to this,” Douglas Murray said.  “You can see we’re a much better team and we feel great about our team today. It’s a great group of guys.”

“The moves we’ve made have paid dividends,” Ryane Clowe said.  “Welly has played really strong. Eags has added an element and played physical. Whitey has played big minutes already since he came in. The guys fit right into the lineup.”

San Jose leads the NHL’s Pacific Division and is six points ahead of the eighth and final playoff position as of Monday morning.

NEXT GAME
To begin their six-game home stand, the Sharks will play hosts to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, March 1 at 7:30 PM. Watch the game live on CSNCA-HD and listen on KFOX 98.5/102.1 FM.
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