Something smells fishy in the land of schnitzel.
Thomas Greiss, the oft maligned, (and oft seated), back up to former Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov now finds himself in an odd situation. After a few glorious months were it seemed has was to be the backup for Nitty, a position in which he was guaranteed more ice time than he had under Nabby, and once which gave him the prefect set up to potentially steal the number one job away from our newly signed net-minder. Yes, things were looking up for Greiss. Then the Sharks signed Neimi and things got weird.
Suddenly, it was quite clear to everyone that Greiss' days with the Sharks were numbered. They already have some outstanding kids minding the nets in the AHL, so they can't just send him there. While the likelihood of him being used as trade bait was high, let's be honest here, his trade value isn't great, and he wasn't likely to find himself traded into a starting role anywhere.AT Teal and White you could see how deflated he was. Hell, you could see his thoughts as he stumbled in the net for white while the kid (Stalock) down at the other end of the ice maintained the shut out Nitty had started. Granted Niemi had left him in the whole by one, but Greiss looked shaky and unsure.
Now we find he has headed to Germany, his motherland with the team only to be told he will not start the exhibition game scheduled against his old rival, Adler Mannheim, tomorrow.
To quote a song from my favorite movie of all time "Something strange going on, something wrong."
The question is "what?"
Doing what I do for a living, I'm all to aware that there can be quite the difference between the public story, and the factually based one. Not everything can be made public, so conjecture fills the gaps and quite often fills them in incorrectly. Now we know the Sharks asked Nitty for his blessing before the signed Neimi, but not Greiss (at least not as far as we can tell. To be fair, we have no knowledge if he was asked on way or the other). That seemed odd at the time. And the club had been supporting him as their go to back up guy until they had a chance to bring Neimi in.(I don't actually feel that bringing Neimi is was a dick move. Hockey is, after all, a business and you do what you need to do to improve your team when an opportunity presents itself.) Suddenly Greiss is the clear third wheel and it seems like he's being treated as such, but the Sharks aren't known for that sort of behavior. So what's really going on?
It's possible that the Sharks, having signed a second starter, realized there was little room for Greiss in the organization at this time, and have been slowly shopping him around. The Wild are reported to be interested in him, and he has not (yet) been put on waivers, indicating DW's desire to get something in return when Greiss goes. Given this fact, they had to change their plans. They can't promise him anything, because nothing is certain, so they give him some chances to play, but otherwise have him sit so he can stay healthy and uninjured until a trade is finalized. No sense in getting this guy hurt before he has the chance to be moved elsewhere.
It could be that after the Neimi signing there was a bit of a falling out. It's happened before, albeit under a very different coach.Things like that are kept quiet if at all possible. Sure we all knew Patty and RW weren't speaking, but, it wasn't discussed by the team.
It's even possible that the Sharks have been doing everything to find Greiss a new home, and have been unsuccessful. They know they aren't keeping him, but they don't want to just drop him, so they publicly string him along, while doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get him somewhere good. They respect him too much to just dump him, so they keep him with the team despite it being rather clear that he no longer has a future on Team Teal.
It is also possible the that Sharks are just being douches for the sake of it, and are treating Greiss like crap because they no longer he need him. This really seemed to be the least likely of all scenarios, but it remains possible.
Whatever is happening, it's clear that Greiss has gotten the short end of the stick. What isn't clear is why.