San Jose Sharks have a bright future in the face of a disappointing season

San Jose Sharks (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to make the playoffs this season, but they still have a very bright future despite their disappointing campaign.

It goes without saying that the San Jose Sharks are one of the worst teams in hockey this season. Peter DeBoer is out, Martin Jones is not the goalie he was once capable of being, and Erik Karlsson has been nothing short of frustrating during his time in teal.

However, in spite of all of this, the Sharks have a bright future moving forward.

Timo Meier has been a rock this year, putting up career numbers and asserting himself as one of the best players on the team. Through 60 games Meier has 20 goals and 19 assists, creating consistent offense on a beat-up Sharks roster.

At 23 years of age, he could develop into a true star.

Meier is not the only young stud on the roster as Tomas Hertl has shown significant growth this season prior to his injury. Hertl represented the team in the NHL All-Star Game this year and was the best skater on the ice in both matchups.

Frankly, it was a shock that he was not named the 2020 All-Star MVP. The 26-year old scored four goals against the Central Division and hit the game-winner against the Atlantic Division. Although he is done for the season, Hertl put up an impressive 36 points in 48 games.

It is time for the Sharks to move on from Martin Jones. Over the past two seasons, the once stalwart goalie has been consistently inconsistent. The Sharks minus-40 goal differential shows it, and it is only a matter of time before the team parts ways with the beloved ‘Joner.’

But that paves the way for a potential star goalie in Alexandar Georgiev who the Sharks are rumored to be in trade talks for. Georgiev is currently serving as the backup to Henrik Lundqvist, one of the greatest goalies of this era.

If the Sharks acquire the 24-year old goalie, the team could be set in net for years to come — a change that would be welcomed by Team Teal given recent struggles.

Logan Couture will play the biggest role in the Sharks’ resurgence through the remainder of this season and headed into next season. Before his injury, Couture put up 36 points in just 45 games.

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But more importantly “Captain Cooch” is evolving into a true leader for the team. Vocal and committed, Couture elevates everyone around him.

Heading into next season, expect Couture to play the best hockey of his career. As the face of the team, he will guide the Sharks back into playoff status.

One of the most notable points of the season was the firing of Peter DeBoer, who had been with the team since their first Stanley Cup appearance. During his tenure, DeBoer failed to get the team over the hump to Cup glory and was fired as a result.

More shocking was the team’s rival, the Vegas Golden Knights firing bench boss Gerard Gallant and hiring Peter DeBoer in his place. The Sharks have chosen to stick with coach Bob Boughner through the remainder of the season.

Frankly, Boughner’s resume as head coach is unimpressive at best. He will not be a Craig Berube story and should not be the solution for the team long-term. The Sharks do have options moving forward due to the availability of both Mike Babcock and Gerard Gallant.

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Babcock helped bring a once struggling Toronto Maple Leafs franchise back into relevance. The iconic team is now one of the more competitive rosters in the Atlantic and his hard work plays a role in that.

The other available option the Sharks should consider is Gerard Gallant, the ex-Vegas bench boss. Gallant is exciting because of his strong history with player development and what he was able to do with an expansion franchise.

As many know, Gallant was the first coach to guide an expansion team to a championship appearance in sports history. Gallant’s presence could make the Sharks a much better team, even with a similar roster headed into next season.

Finally, the Sharks have a bright future because of the defenseman that the team has at their disposal. Namely Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

It is worth pointing out that Karlsson has been extremely frustrating and disappointing this season. His hefty contract is not reflective of his contributions to the team so far.

Karlsson still has tremendous upside, he can play as he did in Ottawa with the right culture built around him. The team should expect a big year from the two-time Norris Trophy winner moving forward.

Burns and Vlasic have been consistent for the Sharks for years and will likely be the first pair through the remainder of the season. The big-three defenseman will help the re-surging team in a big way headed into next season.

The Sharks will likely miss the playoffs this year, but with so much to be optimistic about, the team should thrive in the near future. Keep in mind the last time the Sharks missed the playoffs, they marched to the Stanley Cup the following year.

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Simply put, the San Jose Sharks are resilient.