With the San Jose Sharks in the middle of the playoff run there have been all kinds of rumors swirling with the trade deadline looming less than a week away. With Douglas Murray having already been dealt to the Penguins (who just added Jerome Iginla and have seemingly stacked the deck in their favor) it seems the right move has been made…. so far. But, with plenty of times left and lots of rumors to sort through general manager Doug Wilson may not be done yet.
While it’s definitely odd to see the Sharks being more of a seller at the deadline than as a buyer like in the last few years, it does seem a little nice for a change. I’d like to see San Jose take as many opportunities as possible to improve the team for the long-term and build around guys like Pavelski and Couture. For now, looks like at a couple of the guys who still have the potential to be gone by the trade deadline.
He has had rumors about him for a month now and, even with nothing too promising surfacing, they have still not stopped. This season has been awful for him with no goals and 10 assists to show so far this season for the 20-goal scorer.
And, while he has struggled, there are still plenty of teams who have shown interest in him including the Habs, Rangers, Canucks and possibly his biggest suitor the Bruins. It may even be a bigger possibility of him heading to the B’s now since the Penguins picked up Iginla.
I think there is no doubt the Sharks should move him and hopefully they can get a good young player and a high draft pick although it is a high price to pay for a rental player. I mean, it’s certainly feasible if Murray was worth two second-round picks, right? The Habs have a good young core and and the Bruins seem to be in an ‘all-in’ mentality this season so they may be willing to give up a little bit more than the others.
On the negative side this does make one of the least physical teams in the league even less physical. The one thing Clowe has done all season is step up for his teammates and play with an edge which he showed again last night getting into another fight. His ability to play with a mean-streak is second to none and that can go a long way in the playoffs.
Also, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Clowe has a full no-trade clause which may make things a little more difficult. Of course he may want to move to see if he can bolster his appeal for the offseason considering he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. With this in mind a trade would be a win-win situation.
His value is still very high even though he is now 36 years old and is not quite having the same type of offensive year he is used to having though that can be said for most Sharks players.
However, despite his age and struggles he is still valuable, especially due to his puck-moving ability and the way he can quarterback a power play. Probably the most hindering thing would be his $6.66 million salary heading into the last year of his contract.
Whether or not the Sharks move him would depend on Doug Wilson’s confidence in the blue-line without Boyle back there. As of right now the other guy who can do that, Brent Burns, is playing as a forward (on the top line no less) and will most likely remain there for the foreseeable future considering his success there this season.
This would leave the defensive corps a little thin, especially after the loss of Murray, and would most likely mean Burns would have to move back to the blue-line to fill in the gap. So, while he could fetch a pretty decent return, to me this move is a bit more far-fetched than at first glance.
A couple teams interested in him are the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers who are searching for a puck-moving defenseman to add to their lineup. The Rangers have reportedly been shopping Marian Gaborik so they might to include him in a deal for Boyle, but I suspect the Sharks would want something a lot more.
Perhaps a Sean Couturier from the Flyers? Well, that may be way more than Philly is every going to want to give up. The issue here too is that the Flyers are sitting pretty far back in the playoff race (seven points out of the eigth seed) and any move they make at the deadline will most likely be to bolster their lineup for the future rather than just next year as Boyle provides with his expiring contract.
In fact, another name that has surfaced in the last couple of days for the Flyers is Brent Burns. He is essentially the same player as Boyle but is much younger. He has a great shot, incredible puck-mover, but can struggle at times in the defensive zone and the Flyers definitely do not need any more of that. They allow just over three goals per game, good for fifth worse in the league, so while they need that puck-moving defenseman, he has to be able to play a great bit of defense as well.
A trade involving Burns would fetch a much greater return mainly due to his youth and offensive abilities. That being said his price-tag is a little high for a defenseman considering he is being played to be a defenseman not a forward, but for now that experiment in San Jose will continue.
While I really do not see Burns being moved Doug Wilson has been known to be willing to trade his bigger names before and will no doubt be okay with doing it again. On the other hand, do not be surprised if he decides to stay quiet for the rest of the season and perhaps pick things up again once the offseason comes around. While Wilson has been known to take a chance on a superstar he is equally known for his quiet and subtle changes to the San Jose lineup.