Sharks Just Might Bite Before Trade Deadline

The 2008-09 San Jose Sharks don't even know know what a losing streak is, they've not lost two consecutive games the entire season. But they have lost twice in the past week, and it's the first time all year that's happened.

That would be an awfully stupid reason for GM Doug Wilson to blow up the Sharks. But consider the Sharks' no-consecutive-losses, most-wins-in-the-Western-Conference, tied-for-most-points-in-the-NHL blockbuster season has transpired with San Jose never once having their entire line-up healthy and in uniform. So how about maybe trading some of these guys who are always hurt?

The fellow who best meets that description is center Torrey Mitchell, who hasn't skated a lick all season. Obviously, no one's going to acquire the gimpy-legged Mitchell to push them over the top this year. But the guy's only 24, has a phenomenal future, and could be swapped off for some of those future draft picks that Doug Wilson loves to stockpile this time of year.

The Sharks trade internet rumor du jour has right winger Jonathan Cheechoo  being shipped to Colorado for the Av's Ryan Smyth. They love that trade on the hockey message boards, but Doug Wilson insists to the San Jose Mercury News, "That player is not in play."

Other sidelined players may make interesting trade bait. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game last night, but he's just got the flu. You don't win Stanley Cups by trading guys when they have the flu, and Nabby is having a sort of historic season.

Injured forward Mike Grier (scoped knee) and center Jeremy Roenick (shoulder) do pose realistic trade options, either the players themselves or because of the holes their absences leave in the roster. But both should be back within six weeks, well in time for the playoffs.

"Every day is a trade deadline for us," Doug Wilson told ESPN. But if he tries to pull a trade on Thursday or Friday, he's got another thing coming.

The Sharks' roster is playing such terrific hockey that there's no need to pull off a disruptive trade to try to get the Stanley Cup. But some Sharks fans may want to see them pull a trade just to try to get past the second round of the playoffs.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has also never been past the second round of the playoffs.

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