The San Jose Sharks are not expected to buyout goalie Martin Jones, per a recent report.
The San Jose Sharks are two weeks away from kicking off the start of free agency with unrestricted free agents set to hit the open market on October 9th.
After a long period of inactivity, the Sharks will awake from their hibernation and make moves that impact the organization for the first time in quite a while.
Just one day before the start of free agency, the NHL buyout period begins. But based on a recent report from Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, it doesn’t appear as though the Sharks will be taking advantage of that period.
Kurz had the following to say about the potential of a buyout.
“The Sharks don’t plan on buying out any of their players prior to the start of next season, whenever that may be, The Athletic has learned.”
The most heavily-discussed potential buyout has been goalie Martin Jones. Jones signed a six-year, $34.5 million contract with the Sharks prior to the start of the 2017-18 season.
However, his play since signing that extension has hardly warranted what he’s being paid. And with four years still remaining on a deal that will pay him $5.75 million per season, some anticipated that the Sharks might execute a buyout.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case. And in reality, that shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise.
The San Jose Sharks still believe in Martin Jones.
Despite his struggles, it’s important to analyze context. Jones has had his difficulties, but the vast majority come with his inconsistency. One night he’ll pitch a 35-save shutout while the next he’ll surrender four goals on his opponent’s first 15 shots.
The reason for this? Many have speculated that his extensive usage could be a cause of it.
From the start of 2015-16 — his first season with the Sharks — through the end of the 2018-19 season, Jones’ 312 combined regular-season and playoff games were the most in the league, per The Athletic.
No goalie has been pushed to the limit as hard as Jones. And this was evident last season when he started the majority of games early in the year before being supplanted by Aaron Dell.
Upon his return to the starting lineup, Jones posted his best streak of starts that season with a .927 save percentage and 2.02 goals-against average in his final eight games.
The Sharks clearly believe that the extra time off will help Jones and they’re going to do everything they can to supply him with a capable backup to take some of the load off. That means that Dell is likely a goner, as a result.
The Sharks believe that they can still get more out of Jones. And expect him to be the team’s starting goalie come next season.