Too Trade or Not To Trade, That Is The Question 

Too Trade or Not To Trade, That Is The Question

As the March 9 NHL trade deadline gets closer, many Sharks fans continue to wait anxiously for General Manager Doug Wilson to make his moves. Several teams have already made moves to prepare for the playoffs, future impact or cut large salaries from their payroll. Eastern Conference teams that have made acquisitions through trade are the Tampa Bay Lighting, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins. The Lighting, Flyers, Senators, Maple Leafs, and Bruins made trades for the playoff push while the Penguins and Hurricanes made trades for long-term impact.

The Capitals are the only Eastern Conference team clearly trading to cut costs. They traded Jaromir Jagr to the Rangers, Peter Bondra to Ottawa and Robert Lang to Detroit. In return they got Anson Carter, two prospects and two picks.

The Rangers acquired Jagr in late January in a desperate attempt to make the playoffs, but the trade has failed to improve their place in the standings and they will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season. The Flyers have been the most active team in the last few weeks by making six trades.

Many of the Sharks' Western Conference rivals have made moves including the Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Wings, Avs, Flames, Canucks, Preds, Stars, and Blues have been building themselves up for the post-season. The Oilers, Ducks, Coyotes, and Blue Jackets with their moves are getting head starts on the next season, which might come years from now as a result of a potential lock out. The Blackhawks look like their dumping salary and preparing to start over by trading away their higher priced players such as Alexei Zhamnov to Philadelphia and Steve Sullivan to Nashville.

It still has to be seen whether or not the Sharks will do anything. If they do make a move, I wouldn't be surprised to see them acquire a veteran defenseman to add depth to their blue line. Sergei Gonchar is a possibility because coach Ron Wilson coached him when he was on the Washington Capitals team that reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Brian Leetch is another possibility. But it is more likely that they will offer as trade bait the second-round pick they acquired from their early season trade of Miikka Kiprusoff to Calgary and see what player(s) they can get. If they can't get a rental player for that, then I think they'll let the season and playoffs play out with the pieces they have in place. They certainly won't trade any of their young talent to get someone.

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