What’s the point of the San Jose Sharks making the playoffs?
It’s a question that most Sharks fans are pretty split on: On one hand, making the playoffs will feel great after back-to-back seasons out of it. On the other hand, what’s so great about getting bounced in the first round and drafting late?
Before that, Sheng drops a quote from William Eklund’s agent, Todd Diamond, about William’s feelings on the cancellation of the World Junior Championships. (4:45).
To answer the big question, we establish first what’s the Sharks’ ceiling as a team (10:05)?
Next, how do the current San Jose Sharks big-ticket contracts prevent them from doing an immediate teardown (13:30)?
Sheng reached out to a couple of NHL team-builders to get their thoughts.
What did one NHL executive say about how sustaining a winning culture is more valuable than we know (18:06)? And what sort of effects does a losing mindset do to a group of young players (20:03)? That same NHL exec gives a funny story about the positives of always having a winning mind-set in the locker room (23:09).
Sheng then uses the Sabres as an example of how outright tanking for picks doesn’t always work as much as people think (25:25).
Another outside source, a veteran NHL GM, brings up attendance as a possible motive for pushing for the playoffs. He also wonders if Doug Wilson has the job security to do what he wants with this Sharks team (34:10)? He recommended a “soft dump” of the Sharks’ albatross contracts (36:25).
That could mean trading Hertl at the Deadline and parting with Karlsson if another team buys his hot start.
What was the common theme between these two execs (41:10)?
Sheng then shares his opinion about why the San Jose Sharks should strive for the playoffs and expresses how important it is to continue pursuing wins as an organization (44:26). He uses Timo Meier as an example of a player that might have gone either way if he didn’t join a winning culture in San Jose.
Sheng touches on the value of Burns’s positive influence on Mario Ferraro’s growth as a player (49:00) – and how that extends all the way back to Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi.
I touch on how the Sharks have also shown their commitment to establishing a positive culture in the locker room with how they’re handling Evander Kane (53:50).
Finally, we wrap up our talk by discussing how the 2012 Stanley Cup Finalist New Jersey Devils – and the Devils after that – could be an example of how hard it is to get your losing culture back after you lose it (56:35).
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