The San Jose Sharks reportedly plan to move on from goalie Aaron Dell in the offseason.
As a result, many fans have been pounding the table for some semblance of change at the position. However, it doesn’t appear as though Jones will be heading anywhere any time soon.
The veteran goalie has four years remaining on his contract and he’s set to earn nearly $6 million in each of those seasons. A buyout is possible, but as reported by Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, that doesn’t seem to be the plan.
Instead, the Sharks are prepared to shake up the position in a different way. In this case, we’re referring to Aaron Dell.
Dell has been a less-than-stellar backup option over the last few seasons. After working his way up through the ranks of the Sharks’ organization, he made his NHL debut in the 2016-17 season.
And at first, he seemed like a more than capable contributor. Unfortunately, his production over the last two seasons has dipped significantly, part of a larger goaltending issue for the team.
For that reason, Kurz is reporting what many already speculated and that is that the Sharks are expected to explore other options in the offseason. In short, don’t expect Dell to return next season.
Aaron Dell likely won’t be returning to the San Jose Sharks next season.
The 31-year-old is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and it seems as though the Sharks are prepared to move on in search of a better compliment to Jones.
Dell actually took over the regular goalie job for a portion last season following an abysmal start to the season for Jones. However, Jones soon took back over the role and played his best hockey of the season down the stretch.
The Sharks clearly still believe in Jones, but they want to try decreasing his workload given how extensively he’s been used over the last few seasons. To do that, they need to acquire a goalie they could trust more than Dell.
Perhaps that’s someone like Alexei Melnichuk, a young prospect the organization is quite high on. In all likelihood, however, they’ll make a move to either sign or trade for a veteran backup.
Either way, Aaron Dell has likely played his last game as a member of the San Jose Sharks.