The much-speculated blockbuster deal for Rick Nash turned out to be a pipe dream.
But the Sharks did address their lack of forward depth Monday by acquiring Colorado wingers Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi on Monday for a package of players that included third-line player Jamie McGinn.
"We were looking for speed, grit, tenacity and penalty-killing," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "We got that in these two players."
Most of the discussion before Monday's trade deadline centered on whether Wilson could somehow swing a mega-deal for Nash, the Columbus captain and star forward who had made it known he wanted to play in San Jose with good friend Joe Thornton.
But Nash didn't go anywhere on a relatively quiet NHL trade day. And while Wilson declined to talk specifically about Nash, he said: "It's safe to say we were exploring everything right to the end."
It was understood that that Columbus' asking price included budding Sharks star Logan Couture, and that was a non-starter for Wilson. In fact, the asking price was stiff around the NHL for top talent and no elite-level players changed teams on Monday.
"It's based on supply and demand," Wilson said. "The prices seemed to be very high."
The deal that did come to fruition was trading McGinn and prospects Mike Connelly and Michael Sgarbossa to Colorado for Winnik, Galiardi and a 2013 seventh-round pick in the deal.
Winnik and Galiardi, who should be available to play Tuesday night at HP Pavilion against the Philadelphia Flyers, are joining a San Jose team desperately in need of a jolt.
The free-falling Sharks (32-22-7) are coming off a disastrous 2-6-1 road trip that has seen them plunge from the Pacific Division lead to seventh in the Western Conference standings. With just 21 games remaining and the Sharks now are fighting to simply make the playoffs.
"We've gone through tough times before and got out of it without going through a trade," said Murray, who is recovering from a throat injury. "It's nice when things haven't been going the way you wanted to get new life in the locker room. Hopefully, this will kick-start us to get out of the funk."
Winnik, 26, has five goals and 13 assists in 63 games this season. But he's in a scoring slump that has reached 31 games.
Among his 42 penalty minutes includes a fight with Sharks forward Ryane Clowe. At 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, Winnik will add size to the Sharks' third line and he's also a strong penalty-killer. That has been a weak area for the Sharks, who rank third-worst in the NHL.
Galiardi, 23, is a speedy left wing who was a pest against the Sharks in a 2010 first-round playoff series. But his Galiardi's numbers have slipped this season with eight goals and six assists this season in 55 games as he has fallen out of favor with Avalanche coach Joe Sacco.
"My first impression is elation," Galiardi said. "Things have been tough for me lately. I was just really happy to have a fresh start somewhere."
Winnik and Galiardi are close friends who coincidentally were meeting to eat lunch together when word of the trade began to trickle out. But even though they haven't been friendly with the Sharks, there will be no lingering hard feelings, Murray said.
"It's two guys who you definitely get irritated playing against, and that's a compliment," he added. "If people don't like playing against them, then they're doing something right. They play hard and they're going to be great additions to the team."
Added Galiardi: "That's nice to hear. I didn't like playing against that guy, either. He told me he was going to kill me a couple of times."
But to get those sandpaper players, the Sharks had to part with McGinn, who has 12 goals and 12 assists on the season for the Sharks in 64 games. McGinn, who first appeared with the Sharks in 2008, had developed into an energy player in the San Jose lineup.
"I think this will be good for him because he might get more of a role there," Wilson said. "You've got to give to get. We wish nothing but the best for Jamie, but we expect both players we got to be around here for a long time."
Wilson is also hopeful that the Sharks will get a boost when three injured players return to the ice: Murray, Marty Havlat and newcomer Dominic Moore.
Murray, who took a puck to the Adam's apple during the recent road trip, said he is just awaiting medical clearance to return to the lineup. Moore, who was acquired in a Feb. 16 with Tampa Bay, is out with a lower-body injury.
Havlat hasn't played since December and is recovering from surgery to repair a torn hamstring. But he has resumed skating and the expectation remains that he will be back at 100 percent for the playoffs.
"When everybody gets into their proper roles, we have a very good hockey team," Wilson said. "Once you get all the pieces to the puzzle settled, we like our team a lot. But it doesn't matter what it looks like on paper, it's what's on the ice that counts."
Wilson made it clear that he thought some of the games on the road trip were "completely unacceptable." He said there would be no excuses from the Sharks about travel or injuries.
"We look nowhere but in the mirror about not playing the way we're capable of," Wilson said.
"He's going to be fine, but it scared all of us," Wilson said. "When we first saw it happened, we weren't sure what had happened. A lot of things go through your mind. I talked to his wife right away. But we're very fortunate that he's going to be OK."