Had the good fortune last week to be invited to a special dinner with Doug Wilson. The dinner was a lot of fun. Doug was forthcoming.
One question I did ask him was whether he intended to do the rebuild before or after the LA Kings fiasco. His response was fascinating. In his mind the decision to do the rebuild was made when Clowe and Murray were traded. He pointed out that he went after draft picks not players.
Since I don’t believe people intentionally lie to me, I am going to take him at face value.
As a long suffering Montreal fan, the notion that anyone would give a draft pick for Douglas Murray at that stage of his career was mind-boggling.
My take is that Doug had decided that he was going to age-out Thorton and Marleau. Doug’s plan is to bring in new young players.
He had, essentially, given up on the Marleau and Thorton era to produce a cup. And that is a bitter pill to swallow for many SJ Sharks fans. And I suspect a lot of the discussion with Joe and Patty was centered around the point that Doug was not going to do things necessary to win a cup over the next three years. He was going to be a seller and accumulator of picks. He was going to play young players who were obviously not ready. If Joe and Patty wanted to win a cup before they retired going somewhere else was probably a better option for them.
Not making Thorton or Marleau captain really is about acknowledging that the future is not about them. That they are there to make sure the bottom doesn’t fall out as the team tries to make the transition but that’s it.
FearTheFin, however, is furious. His attitude is that Doug is wasting Thorton’s last few years of elite skill. And I suppose FearTheFin is right.
Look at the end of the day, I think Doug’s strategy may make sense.
Whether it pans out is a topic for another day.