In the San Jose Sharks 18 year old history, they have never made it past the Western Conference Finals. No Stanley Cup appearances, let alone Stanley Cup wins. For a team that has always been very competitive (other than their first two seasons), this is disgraceful. I am going to theorize in this blog how the Sharks can get over "the hump".
1. Add a Pure Goal Scorer
The Sharks have plenty of playmakers on their roster, but no true goal scorers who have a natural instinct for how to score. They never have had a player like this. So, what they need to do is find a way to get a deal done with the Senators for Dany Heatley. I know recently the trade talks between those two teams have died, but I still believe that Doug Wilson can, and should get something done.
Possible Trade? The Sharks need to get rid of Patrick Marleau. Listen, I'm as big, if not a bigger Marleau fan than the next guy, but I learned something this year that really had never occurred to me like it has for a guy like Joe Thornton. No matter how good of a regular season Marleau has, he will never produce in the playoffs. He had 2 points in 6 games for the Sharks and did nothing in terms of making a big play at either end. He needs to go as the Sharks already have enough talent to get to the playoffs.
2. Find a Leader
Let's face it, as good of a player as Joe Thornton is, he's not a leader. Neither is Marleau, Blake, Roenick, or any of the older players on the Sharks roster. In fact, the only player on the roster who in my opinion deserves to wear the "C" on their sweater is Dan Boyle. However, why not find a guy that actually is a leader. In my opinion the ideal captain is a guy like Jarome Iginla. He's a guy that truly can do it all on the ice. He'll score, pass, check, fight, skate his hardest, lead his guys, and do pretty much anything you ask him to do. Obviously however the Sharks cannot get Jarome Iginla, but they do need to find a poor man's Jarome Iginla. Just somebody who can do a little bit of everything.
Honestly, these are the only two things I can think of that the Sharks need to improve on. There's just no way of knowing how they will screw up next time in the postseason. However there are ways of helping to make the odds of it happening slimmer.