Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Comparing the San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild Trades Now

Hindsight is 20/20. I believe that is how the saying goes. However, when the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild made their series of trades this past offseason, there was no turning back, and there really was no need to. Both teams walked away feeling better about their teams heading forward.

Fast forward to two weeks into the 2011-12 NHL season, and what is the consensus on how each of these teams did in those trades?

To re-cap, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi were traded to the Wild for Brent Burns and Martin Havlat in two separate trades. Also, the Sharks acquired winger James Sheppard from the Wild for a third round pick.

We finally got to see all these players dressed in their new sweaters and out on the ice with their new team, giving us a great look at how these trades stack up.

Brent Burns for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and 2011 1st Round Pick

The trade shocked the hockey world on Draft Day 2011.

A premiere defenseman in the prime of his career traded for a scoring winger with so much potential.

For now, this trade is a deadlock in terms of which team got the better of it.

Burns has done so much by just being a presence on the Sharks defense. His big body and pounding shot from the point is why San Jose wanted him and he has not disappointed one bit so far.

Setoguchi in Minnesota was another great fit for a team in dire need of offense. So far, Setoguchi has impressed with three goals through eight games, and also is second on the team in shots on goal. He is getting opportunities to show what he has, which is something that was simply not going to happen in San Jose.

As for Charlie Coyle, the Sharks No. 1 forward prospect at the time of the trade, he continues to play well for Boston University and is one of the better prospects in Minnesota's organization.

The winner of this trade has yet to be determined, and may not be for the next few years until the Wild's prospects show up.

Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley

The swap of two premiere forwards in the NHL shocked the hockey world yet again.

Sniper Heatley for speedster Havlat in another trade benefiting both teams on the surface and leaving both teams feeling better about their rosters.

Heatley, although battling an injury, has been the Wild's go-to offensive player, as he leads the team in points and shots on goal. Granted he only has five points, which is telling about the Minnesota offense, the Wild are still 3-2-3 through eight games this season.

Havlat, on the other hand, has only played in two games with the Sharks so far, after battling an injury early this season. Through those two games, he has tallied two assists, while creating chemistry with line mates Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe who all complement each other very well.

For now, the Wild got the better of this trade. Havlat has been injured and Heatley is everything Minnesota needed in a No. 1 offensive threat. Heatley will lead the Wild and Havlat is prepared to be that role player needed when called upon, at least that is how it seems.

Havlat does make the Sharks a faster team, and the offense will come in time, but Heatley has seemed to fit right in and we are waiting to see from Havlat what he can do on the ice.

Havlat makes the Sharks a more well-rounded team, but Heatley is the centerpiece of the Minnesota offense.

James Sheppard for 3rd Round Pick

It would seem as though the Wild dumped the troubled Sheppard onto the Sharks. In fact, let's call it that because that was exactly what it was.

Sheppard was the ninth overall pick in 2006 and has yet to live up to that potential, which would explain why Minnesota gave up on him after five years.

For the Sharks, he will play in more of a depth role, slotted somewhere on the fourth line when healthy. However, that is the problem right now—health.

After two offseason knee surgeries, the 23-year-old has not begun on-ice activities yet and there is no current timetable for that to happen.

It seems like the Wild got away with one right here, but if Sheppard regains his health, his potential is through the roof as a Top 10 pick in the NHL Draft.

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