Earlier this offseason, we broke down what the San Jose Sharks needed to do in order to maintain their high level of competitiveness. So far, everything has gone according to plan with the re-signings of young studs like Logan Couture.
Although their draft was not spectacular, it was still solid and should be able to keep the team strong for years to come. During that draft, the Sharks acquired Tyler Kennedy from the Pittsburgh Penguins to help out on the wings, a notoriously weak spot for the Sharks.
With all of that accomplished so far by Doug Wilson and company this offseason, what do they have left on the docket?
Well for one, it’s time to figure out what to do with Martin Havlat. Since he is injured he cannot be amnestied, so his contract stays with the Sharks for another year. That hurt the Sharks in a big way too, especially in the Vincent Lecavalier sweepstakes.
Unfortunately for Havlat, there have been talks about putting him on the long-term injured reserve, especially since the Sharks are currently over the salary cap.
Either way, he remains a Shark this year. If he happens to remain on the team by the trade deadline, however there’s no certainty. With his absence, both Brent Burns and Adam Kennedy look to figure into a very potent offensive mix.
Other guys who are involved this year come from the prospect scrimmage game that happened on July 11th. There was plenty of great play, especially for guys like Daniil Tarasov, Matthew Nieto, and Tomas Hertl. Tarasov finished the game as arguably it’s top player with two goals and one assist. On the other hand, while he did not score any goals, Hertl was all over the ice and at this point in the offseason, he is fully expected to make the team. He even has a good chance of factoring in as a member of the top two lines.
If Hertl is able to make the team, he would pave the way for a great set of three lines for Todd McLellan and his staff to work with. Imagine a third line that consisted of Joe Pavelski flanked by Tyler Kennedy and Raffi Torres. One word: deadly.
But, after the re-signings of Alex Stalock and Matt Pelech, and bringing back Rob Davison (he’s still in the league?) for depth, the Sharks are pretty much tapped out on money. If they were to make any more moves, they would be very minor.
And, when I say minor, I mean minor leagues, as in for the AHL Worcester Sharks. Again, because they are unable to rid themselves of the Havlat contract, they are pretty much strapped.
The one thing I would like to see them do is continue to build for the future and find guys to stick on the AHL team. The Sharks are one of the oldest teams by age, and Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton will not be around forever. Continuing to build for the future and around guys like Couture and Pavelski should always be in the back of Doug Wilson’s mind.