After watching the San Jose Sharks miss the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade, general manager Doug Wilson set out to remake the team last offseason. Individually, none of the moves sent shockwaves through the NHL. The Sharks hired a coach who made the playoffs once in seven seasons as an NHL coach, traded a first-round pick for a goalie who had been a backup his entire career, added two playoff-tested veterans for depth at forward and defense and signed an unheralded Finnish rookie.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel won't be representing the United States in the World Cup of Hockey, while 18-year-old Auston Matthews was among Team North America's final selections Friday. The Czech Republic couldn't convince Jaromir Jagr to compete.
It will be speed vs. speed in the Stanley Cup final between the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins. San Jose got through the Western Conference the same way Pittsburgh got through the East: with plenty of depth and speed to kill. The final will feature the three top playoff scorers in the Sharks' Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns against Penguins stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.