Lower cap = bigger problem for the San Jose Sharks; Marleau and draft recap
The San Jose Sharks had a relatively quiet draft weekend. They made a few minor deals for picks to move around in the draft. Otherwise, not much excitement.
Or was there?
The Sharks didn't have a first-round pick but got busy early on Saturday added picks. They traded the 41st to Vegas for picks 48 and 82. At 48 they picked Russian defenseman Artemi Kniazev, who had 13 goals and 21 assists in 55 games while playing for Chicoutimi of the QMJHL.
San Jose went back to work, trading picks 82 and 91 to the suddenly awesome New Jersey Devils for the 55th overall pick. The Sharks used that pick to snag Dillon Hamaliuk from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.
They were not done. Doug Wilson then traded pick 215 and Francis Perron for the 164th pick and UFA forward Tom Pyatt.
Did you get all that???
When all was said and done, the Sharks made a total of five picks, selecting two defensemen and three forwards.
- 2nd Round, 48th overall | Aremi Kniazev, D, QMJHL (Chicoutimi)
- 2nd Round, 55th overall | Dillon Hamaliuk, LW, WHL (Seattle)
- 4th Round, 108th overall | Yegor Spiridonov, C, Russia Juniors
- 6th Round, 164th overall | Timur Ibragimov, LW, Russian Juniors
- 6th Round, 184th overall | Santeri Hatakka, D, Finland Juniors
I don't know much about these kids, but I'll more in-depth in a later blog.
Moving right along. Let's talk about what happened with Patrick Marleau.
The Toronto Maple Leafs needed cap space. The best way to free up some space? Trade an aging hockey player with a very high cap hit. That's precisely what they did when they sent Marleau, a conditional first-round pick and a seventh-round selection in 2020 to the Canes for a sixth-rounder next year.
The move freed up $6.25 million in cap space for other more pressing issues, i.e. Mitch Marner.
You're probably asking yourself, "why is this in a Sharks blog if the Sharks are not even part of the deal?"
The Canes are saying they would like Patty to play for them next season. The belief is that he doesn't want any part of that. As mentioned before, Marleau wants to play on the west coast and more specifically, he wants to come crawling back to San Jose.
This trade opens the "buy out" scenario. (I think somebody in the comments said it was a blogger idea) Carolina can simply buy out Marleau's contract, allowing him to become a free agent and sign on the cheap with another team. In this case - the Sharks.
I got a strong anti-Marleau sentiment from social media, regarding a possible return and it's 100% justified. Bringing Marleau back into the fold only tightens the Sharks purse strings and does little to help bolster the roster.
San Jose was delivered the worst possible news when the league announced the next cap ceiling would be $81.5 million. The lower number leaves the Sharks with $14,842,583 in cap space. They already have $66,657,417 locked up in salaries for next season. Wilson clearly doesn't have enough room to take care of his various FA's like Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi, Joe Thornton, Gus Nyquist, Tim Heed or Timo Meier (RFA).
A lower cap means that San Jose will almost certainly not be able to bring back the same squad and they may even lose Pavelski, Donskoi or BOTH. It starting to look like both players are willing to test the market.
Can you imagine Joe Pavelski in a different sweater?
Justin Braun was already shipped out and now there's speculation that Brenden Dillion could be next.
The prodigal son returning to save the day is a wonderful fantasy, but it's nothing more than that - pure fantasy. Bringing back Marleau MUST be low on the list of offseason priorities for the Sharks.
We knew the Sharks were going to be busy this summer. A smaller cap means they could be busy for all the wrong reasons.
Thanks for reading,