Friedman: Sharks all-in this season

The San Jose Sharks caught one of the biggest fish available on the trade market in quite some time when they recently landed Erik Karlsson, and Doug Wilson may not be done yet.

The first 31 Thoughts: The Podcast episode of the 2018-19 season was released Thursday, and Elliotte Friedman alluded to more potentially being to come from the general manager.

This part of the discussion opened with Doug Wilson’s press conference introduction for Erik Karlsson.

“I’ve got to tell you, there were some GMs in the West that were really mad,” laughed Friedman. “They were angry. Doug Wilson - he’s a closer. He’s a salesman, he’s a great salesman.”

“He gets them and he keeps them and then they stay,” added podcast co-host Jeff Marek.

“He knows he’s got San Jose, right,” noted Friedman. “He knows he’s got San Jose. I can always remember Craig Rivet telling me the story about going from Montreal to San Jose, and he goes, ‘Okay, when does the media come in,’ and Joe Thornton looks at him and goes, ‘They’re in. That’s him.’

“So you go out there and you love it. I mean, it’s a great place to live. It’s expensive, but it’s a great place to live. It’s great for your family, outdoors the weather is beautiful.

“The thing is too, the team. I’m not surprised Evander Kane would go out there and sign, not only because they’re offering $49 million, but because look at those guys. That is a team that accepts people who are unafraid to be different. As long as you show up and you do the job, they will accept the fact that you’re not a ‘typical hockey player.’

“But Wilson is a salesman. He knows what he’s got around him, and he finds a way to do it. They call him the dentist - when he gets you in the chair and starts talking trade with you... I’ve had other GMs who tell me that the worst feeling in the NHL is when you’ve got only one team to trade with, and that guy is Doug Wilson - because you’re not getting out of there alive. Like, you know you’re probably going to lose the deal. Because he can talk up his players and make it sound like, ‘Boy, you’re getting a hell of a prospect here,’ and everyone else is going to say, ‘What? What are you doing.’

“That’s what happened here. They’re going to be outstanding. They’re going to be really good.

“I understood when they pitched to Tavares, they told him, ‘You’re the piece. Where we are right now, we have to win.’ Because how much longer are they getting Thornton and Pavelski healthy and at their best. So he told Tavares, ‘You’re the piece,’ from what I understand.

“And I’m sure they said the same thing to Karlsson when he met with them. I think they know they’re all-in, and they’re going to go out and they’re going to get somebody else at some point, maybe a center. They’re all-in it for this year.

“It’s their 25th anniversary, they’re hosting the All-Star game. You watch - they’re all-in this year. I think the first team to be all, all, all, all, all-in this year.”

Karlsson is in the final season of his contract, and Pierre LeBrun reported that the defenseman wouldn’t be eligible to sign an eight-year extension with the Sharks until after the trade deadline.


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