Sharks GM Wilson: We're happy with team, but 'you're always looking'

February, 8, 2010
02/08/10
6:32
PM ET

Rumors linking Niclas Wallin to the San Jose Sharks began to surface a few weeks ago. But the fact is, Sharks GM Doug Wilson was after the veteran blueliner way, way, way before that.

"We did a lot of research into Nic," Wilson told ESPN.com Monday. "We tried to get him for the last two years to be honest with you."

The Sharks acquired the 34-year-old Swede from Carolina on Sunday along with a fifth-round pick in 2010 in exchange for a second-round pick in 2010. The deal appeared dead on Friday when Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said as much publicly, but it got back on track late Saturday night.

That Wilson added another former Cup winner in Wallin (2006) is par for the course; Rob Blake and Dan Boyle were also former Cup winners brought into the Sharks fold two years ago.

"His game speaks for itself," Wilson said of Wallin. "He's a playoff-hardened veteran that has played with really good players in Carolina, and he's very versatile. He can play the left side or the right side. We think his character, how he plays the game, he's a team-first guy. We really look forward to adding him to our team.

"There are a lot of mutual friends that speak really highly of him as a teammate and competitor," Wilson added. "Whether it be Arturs Irbe or Bret Hedican, for example. We know about him as a person and as a teammate, and he's always played his best hockey in the playoffs."

Wilson had no interest in giving up anyone from his NHL or AHL roster, so the second-round pick was exactly what the doctor ordered. And the timing of the deal was also important to him -- right before the Olympic break.

"The big thing for us was to be able to add player like this and at this time so that it was early enough for him to integrate himself with our team," said the Sharks GM. "And we didn't have to give up anything from our dressing room because I really respect and believe in the group and how they've approached this year."

Is Wilson done shopping?

"You're always looking. We've got some guys out with injuries," Wilson said. "We also have some guys in [AHL] Worcester playing really well and they're certainly part of our player pool and will be going forward."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer

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