Last week, I called Alex Stalock and Mike Brown “waste[s] of space” and “utterly fucking useless.” And Doug Wilson listened. Seriously, I think Dougie reads this, so…I told you so. On Monday, the Sharks traded away Raffi Torres and 2 2nd round picks (2017 & 2018) to the Toronto Perpetual Sadnesses for D Roman Polak and F Nick Spaling, who would later score on his first shot with the Sharks. The Sharks got another defenseman to shore up their rotation, a forward to fill out the bottom line. They also got a master of banter:
And we’ll need the shade because it’s been in the mid-70s all week in the South Bay.
This trade also rid us of the worst player in Sharks history:
In 4 seasons, Raffi Torres played in 16 games. That’s including not playing at all this season or last season. He was suspended for 47 total games. The rest of the time, he was on IR. Raffi Torres was an absolute waste of money. Of air. A horrible excuse for a hockey player. Luckily, we found someone dumb enou….savvy enough to turn his career around. He’ll start that turn around by making himself inactive for the rest of this season:
But we weren’t done. Oh no. Wilson had another deal up his sleeve. G James Reimer and F Jeremy Morin from Toronto (again) for G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith, and a 4th (2018) that could become a 3rd should the Sharks make the Cup Finals. More importantly:
Alex. Stalock. Is. Gone.
It’s got me feeling a lot like Jumbo after his performance against the Blues on Monday:
So I’m going to post this one last time, because it’s the last time I can use it:
If you’ve read my blurb before, you know I hate Alex Stalock. If you’ve seen him play, you know you hate Alex Stalock. He’s gone and now we have a solid back up to give Martin Jones some rest heading down the stretch into the playoffs. Additionally, we get another Bottom-6 forward to push Mike “Dead Weight” Brown* further out of the picture. In this trade, the Sharks didn’t give much up, as we didn’t want Stalock, Smith was sort of forgotten (though a solid 4th liner when needed), and only one draft pick. Huge win for San Jose on this trade.
Combining both trades together makes it look like Doug Wilson has his magic GM touch back. The first trade was a little heavy on the picks given away, but getting Reimer and Polak for 2 second rounders and clearing deadweight is pretty solid.
Reimer won’t be in for a while, so Aaron Dell, a development goalie who I mentioned last week, will be filling in until Reimer is able to join the Sharks. I’m pumped, because now we’ll have the self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Goalie” on our bench:
It’s clear that the “rebuild” that was previously talked about is over and the Sharks are committed to winning now.
It’ll be an uphill battle to finish out this season. 21 games remain, 14 of which are at home. The Sharks are getting better at home, but are still 11-13-3. However, they have the most road wins in the league with 22. If San Jose can be close to perfect in their last 7 road games, they may be able to cover any point losses from the home games until they fix whatever juju is preventing them from being dominant at home like in years past.
Oh, I almost forgot about the dumb way the NHL scheduled the Sharks’ season. In their final 22 games, they play the Canucks 5 times with 2 sets of home and homes. They play 3 times this week alone. They also play the Coyotes 3 times in this final month. Currently, the Canucks and Coyotes are 12 points behind the Sharks in 4th and 5th place, respectively. If the Sharks can take out the Canucks and Coyotes in those 8 games, they can secure at least 3rd in the Pacific and try to mount a late season charge to the top 2 spots. Each of those games are really worth 4 point swings in the standings, so it’s imperative the Sharks take care of business. With no Stalock to Stalock things in the 3 remaining back-to-backs, the playoff forecast is looking better and better for this Sharks team and the added rest should only improve Jones’ effectiveness in these final games.
4 points behind the Ducks, 6 behind the Kings.
***EDIT: As I begin to write this at 9AM PST Sunday: Stalock has been placed on waivers by TOR. Mike Brown has been placed on waivers by SJ. I am a Nostradamus of bad hockey players.***