The wave finally crashed Wednesday for the San Jose Sharks. After still waters for over two weeks regarding their epic first round playoff collapse against the LA Kings, Sharks’ owner Hasso Plattner issued the following statement:
“I am very disappointed in the way our team finished the 2013-14 season. Gaining a 3-0 series advantage and being unable to advance is a major blow to our organization and fan base. Our teams have been consistently built to go deep into the playoffs and this goal won’t change.
Doug Wilson and I have met over the past two weeks. He has shared his support of the coaching staff, as well as his recommended changes to our team’s roster, and he has my complete support moving forward.
I want to thank our extremely loyal fans and partners for their continued support and to let them know that we are not satisfied with the status quo of the last several seasons.
I am confident that with the proposed changes, Doug and his staff will build a team we can all be proud of.”
The silence had become unbearable, the fanbase and the news media were restless. Earlier this week , San Jose Mercury News Columnist Mark Purdy called out Plattner’s non response. He noted how although General Manager Doug Wilson had come out in a press conference in support of Head Coach Todd McLellan two days post-playoff mortem, and that league sources had suggested that both Wilson and McLellan would be back along with a significant roster shake-up, no official word had come from the source, Plattner, and that rumors would soon begin to fly.
With this statement from the Sharks owner, it is clear change is coming to the roster at the least. Some, I am sure, would like a philosophical shift with how the team is put together, which would start with GM Wilson. He, however, has Plattner’s “complete support moving forward.” So what then, with the roster needs adjustment? Thornton and Marleau just inked three year deals so it is doubtful they will go anywhere. It seems beyond the realm of possibility to see Marleau finish his career outside of a Sharks sweater (although I’m sure some said that of NJ Devils Brodeur at some point too). Speculation abounds that Havlat could be on the move and Niemi may start the 2014-2015 season minding another team’s pipes after his inconsistent season with the Sharks. Blueliner Dan Boyle will most surely be a player that takes his UFA status and shops around for another team, especially if you look at CSN‘s Kevin Kurz’s projections at who stays or goes on the Sharks blueline.
Let the dialogue begin, the veil of silence has been lifted and it’s time the Sharks became a team that can take their play deep and bring home a Cup to a fanbase that has stuck with the team through its spectacular highs and abominable lows. Those who “Bleed Teal” are patiently waiting, but they only have so much patience for disappointment.