Sharks Sticking to “Refresh” Not “Rebuild” with Clowe Trade to Rangers

Scott Semmler@@ScottSemmler22Analyst IIApril 3, 2013

February 16, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Ryane Clowe (29) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks made something clear on Tuesday: They intend to rid the team of the dead weight and promote a future of young prospects to refuel the franchise for years to come—all the while remaining competitive.

That’s the plan at least.

The Sharks traded forward Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers on Tuesday for a second and third round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the team’s third trade in the last eight daysall of which have been in return for 2013 and 2014 draft picks.

Douglas Murray was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 25 and Michal Handzus was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Do not call what the front office is doing a rebuilding project, though. The franchise intends to remain competitive, as well as make the playoffs this season, despite trading away two long-time members of the club who have provided bulk on the ice for several seasons.

General manager Doug Wilson prefers to call it a “refresh,” according to Yahoo! Sports’ Nick Cotsonika.

Whatever he wants to call it, it is working. San Jose is in the middle of a five-game winning streak and has won six of its last seven games. The streak has vaulted the team from the playoff bubble to one of the top spots in the Western Conference once again.

Without Clowe, Handzus and Murray, the Sharks are faster and relentless on offense. The slow legs and poor judgment of Clowe and Murray are off the ice. Both players were growing liabilities with the puck and they have been replaced with young legs with something to prove.

Wilson is making a bold move by taking the route between rebuilding and standing pat with the current roster. While he has rid the team of players that were never in the future plans, he has kept the core intact.

Whether or not this strategy can sustain its current success is the question.

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