Mar 27, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing James Sheppard (15) and defenseman Matt Irwin (52) and right wing Martin Havlat (9) celebrate with defenseman Dan Boyle (22) after he scored a goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks: What does 'rebuild' really mean?

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Shortly after the San Jose Sharks were eliminated in the playoffs last season, general manager Doug Wilson stated that a rebuilding would begin and that the team will begin to focus on the younger players to step up and lead. At this point in the offseason, one has to wonder what type of rebuilding has begun. Sure, younger players are being signed and veterans such as Dan Boyle were let go. But a total rebuild is still in the process and it may take years to accomplish. Wilson stated that it could take as many as seven years to achieve what needs to happen to better the franchise.

Wilson told NHL.com the following in an interview last month:

“It’s the rebuild, and ‘the rebuild’ is a term that we haven’t used a lot recently or probably in a long time. Historically, every team in the League that has had success has probably gone through that phase. We did start it a year ago. We used that terminology, ‘reset-refresh.’ It really was a form of rebuild. We know that we haven’t accomplished what we want to accomplish.

“We feel that we’ve got a good core of young players, almost all of them homegrown, drafted by us or have come up through the system that we feel comfortable to lead the way on that. But that’s what we have to do, and you can’t commit to it and not do it. We were not going to trade a Hertl or a Mirco or a Nieto or a first-round pick or second-round picks in this season because we wanted to commit to it. That’s the phase we’re in. There’s no avoiding it. That’s what we need to do.”

The team is going to be changing whether anyone likes it or not. And Wilson has a point when he mentions that older players may not want to stick around and witness those changes. My analysis on his phrasing: it’s not that veterans wouldn’t fit in with the team, rather that they may retire before the end result can be completed. Whether this really matters is speculation.

In all honestly Wilson may not know exactly what he means when talking about rebuilding. But I don’t think he has to. A rebuilding can take many turns along the way to ensure the right path is taken. At this point it is to focus on the youth; the next step could be almost anything and knowing exactly what that step is seems somewhat impossible. It would be in the best interest of the club to analyze how the changes affect the way the team performs and then revisit the idea.

The only thing known for sure is that there will be changes in the next few years for the Sharks franchise.

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