Programming note: Sharks-Avalanche coverage gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California.
SAN JOSE – Two things happened when the Sharks traded forward Jamie McGinn to Colorado, in exchange for Daniel Winnik, TJ Galiardi and prospect Michael Sgarbossa at the deadline last season.
One is that the Sharks secondary scoring became all but non-existent. That was true in the final six weeks of last season, and is still true today.
The second is that McGinn has become one of the more productive forwards on a Colorado team that has several young talents up front, although the Avalanche have still not yet figured out a way to win consistently. In 34 games with Colorado – 17 last season, and 17 this season, McGinn has 24 points (11g, 13a). That includes three goals and eight assists this year.
Is it safe to say the trade worked out for the 24-year-old forward?
“Absolutely. I loved it in San Jose and loved all the guys and still keep in touch with a lot of them, but personally, for myself, it was the best thing that’s happened for me,” McGinn said on Tuesday morning at HP Pavilion. “I’m getting a great chance to play here in Colorado, it’s a good situation for me, and it’s a good group of guys here. I’m loving it, taking it in stride, and trying to get better every day.”
The trade could be one that Doug Wilson could regret, if he doesn’t already. McGinn was seemingly having a breakthrough year last season at the time of the deal with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 61 games, and has continued to improve. Meanwhile, Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi did nothing to help the Sharks’ decline in the second half last year, which ended with the earliest playoff exit in franchise history.
Winnik left in the offseason for Anaheim, and Galiardi has frequently been a healthy scratch this year and has had virtually no impact on the Sharks.
Many Sharks fans still seem irked by the trade, judging by the general reaction on social media to anything that has to do with the trade that happened nearly one year ago on Feb. 27, 2012.
“I enjoy hearing that. I’m glad the fans enjoyed me here and I had a great time here, but I can’t worry about that,” McGinn said. “I can’t control what happens in the game with trades, but I can control what I do on the ice. Wherever I’m put and whatever line I’m on, all I can do it work as hard as I can.
“I thank the fans for all the support that I’ve got through Twitter and everything like that while I was here in San Jose. Every time I come back here, the inbox definitely fills up with people excited to watch the game. I enjoyed it, but I’m also enjoying Colorado, but I’m an Avalanche now and that’s all I can worry about.”
Colorado is in 14th place in the Western Conference with just a 7-8-2 record, but McGinn is confident the team can still challenge for a playoff spot.
“We’re going in the right direction,” he said. “There is still a lot of work to do and there is time left in the season, but it’s going to happen quick with the shortened season. We’re going to continue to get better every day. We need all men going every night. If we do that, we are a playoff team, and ready to make the jump.”
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The Sharks beat Colorado earlier this season, 4-0, in what was just the fourth game overall for both clubs on Jan. 26.
“When we played the Sharks last time it was early in the year. There were a few things we had to work out,” McGinn said.
“We have to jump on these guys early. I know first hand how tough it is to play in this building, and how much an effect the crowd has.”