Despite last night’s win, the Sharks could be in for a tough season, thanks to the current front office.
The shorthanded answer to this question is that if San Jose cannot make the playoffs this season, it would, in fact, be reasonable to part ways with Doug Wilson.
His long-term success is undoubtedly evident. He is the architect behind one of the most consistent franchises in hockey.
But his work never resulted in a Stanley Cup that likely should have made its way to the Bay Area at least once in this 20-year period. At this point, he is hanging onto his old philosophies at the expense of the team’s future.
Wilson in the 2010s is not the same as Wilson in the 2020s. It appears as though he has become complacent with the team’s current state and believes things will magically get better.
That is not the case. To his credit, we have seen some bright spots, most notably being Tomas Hertl, who is a top-tier talent to this day. As well as drafting current captain Logan Couture and trading for one of the best defensemen in Sharks history in Brent Burns.
But his negligence is epitomized in his decision to pay Erik Karlsson in what will go down as one of the worst and most crippling contracts in Sharks history.
The Sharks are locked in with him at $12 million AAV until the end of the 2026-27 season. At the point of him finally becoming a free agent, he will be 37 years old.
His decision coaching-wise is very questionable as well. Firing Peter DeBoer last season was the right move, all things considered. But his decision to stand by Bob Boughner promoting him from interim to head coach is flabergasting.
Boughner, at no point, has proved that he is a winning coach. He has never overseen a playoff team. In many respects, he held back the Florida Panthers both times they missed the playoffs.
But Sharks fans are supposed to believe that he can right his wrongs with team teal? It can be understandable to assume that the hiring was rooted in nepotism, given his history with the team and his relationship with the current captain.
His management of goaltending is yet another shortcoming on his resume. To Wilson’s credit, when he extended Martin Jones‘ contract, he was playing out of his mind.
In a retrospective sense, Jones is very much on a bad contract and is one of the NHL’s worst goalies.
But then Wilson went on to impress by bringing in young talents Josef Korenar and Alexei Melnichuk. To ultimately return to his questionable ways by deciding that bringing in Devan Dubnyk was a win-now move.
To date, the Jones-Dubnyk tandem is one of the most significant laughing stocks in the NHL. Paling in comparison to what most of the league is operating with.
Fans have to give Doug Wilson credit for everything he has done for the team over the last two decades. But if this team can’t come together in one of the least competitive divisions in the Honda West and make the playoffs, it is time for Wilson to get the boot.