The San Jose Sharks entered the offseason with quite a few issues to address and while they haven’t made any significant moves, they have been fairly active in free agency and the trade market. Here’s a recap of San Jose’s offseason moves so far.
The Sharks started by making two trades with the Minnesota Wild, acquiring Ryan Donato, Devan Dubnyk and a seventh-round pick, in exchange for a third-round pick and fifth-round pick. Donato is still quite young and could potentially play on the wing in San Jose’s top-six, while Dubnyk adds some much needed goaltending depth, even if there are questions as to whether or not he’ll be able to bounce back after a disastrous season.
In free agency, San Jose brought back two former players, in Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto. Each deal came at the league minimum and while neither will add substantial production, they’re certainly an upgrade to the bottom-six. The Sharks also re-signed Stefan Noesen.
The team also re-signed forward Kevin Labanc to a four-year deal at a $4.73 million AAV. While I think that price was a bit high, it’s nothing outrageous and Labanc will still be a key forward for the Sharks moving forward.
However, the Sharks didn’t re-sign forward Melker Karlsson. I had said prior to the offseason that I thought the two sides would part ways and it just makes sense to either go with a better veteran or a younger forward, rather than bringing him back. Karlsson’s numbers were declining and he was already 30 years old, which isn’t a good combination.
San Jose also didn’t re-sign defenseman Tim Heed. Heed was a pretty decent depth defenseman and considering San Jose still needs someone to play on the right side of their bottom pairing, I would’ve liked to see him brought back, especially considering how cheap the deal could’ve been in this market.
Lastly, the Sharks also allowed goalie Aaron Dell to hit the market. Dell was alright this past season but unfortunately, he wasn’t going to be a solution and San Jose needed to look elsewhere for help.
The biggest loss of the offseason, however, was Joe Thornton heading to Toronto. While Thornton may not be a top-six forward anymore, his departure leaves the Sharks without a third-line center, just as they had managed to build some depth in their bottom-six.
Overall, I think it’s been a pretty alright offseason for the Sharks and I think it's gone as well as we could’ve expected, given their cap situation. While the Sharks haven’t made any significant moves and aren’t going to be a contender next season, they’ve done what they can with the cap space they have to fill some areas of need and build a more competitive team.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Are you happy with San Jose's offseason moves so far?