- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"The mental toughness in [our] locker room has to get stronger."
—SAN JOSE COACH TODD MCLELLAN
LAST SEASON 53-18-11 (1st in West); lost in first round to Anaheim
KEY ADDITIONS LW Dany Heatley, C Manny Malhotra, C Scott Nichol, RW Jed Ortmeyer
KEY LOSSES RW Jonathan Cheechoo, D Christian Ehrhoff, C Marcel Goc, RW Mike Grier, D Brad Lukowich, LW Milan Michalek, LW Travis Moen, C Jeremy Roenick
After yet another mystifying early exit from the playoffs, G.M. Doug Wilson let it be known that change was necessary and imminent. "The frustration is overwhelming," Wilson said days after San Jose's loss to the Ducks, the fourth consecutive year that the Sharks were upended in one of the first two rounds. "Everything will be evaluated. There's nothing that's off the table. This is going to be a painful summer, and it should be."
Despite that declaration, Wilson didn't make a major personnel change until training camp opened and he announced the acquisition of forward Dany Heatley, who had been demanding a trade from Ottawa since May. The price was dear—promising winger Milan Michalek and veteran Jonathan Cheechoo—but Heatley's 35 points in 34 career playoff games is precisely the track record San Jose was looking for.
"When the Senators went to the Stanley Cup finals [in 2007], Dany was the leading scorer in the playoffs," Wilson says. "He's Canada's alltime leading scorer at the World Championships.... [Producing in big spots] is not something you just hope he's going to do. He's done it."