Many of you whom have already seen the TD between Argos and myself know exactly what this blog is going to be about. However, for those of you who don't, allow me to explain: The San Jose Sharks need an overhaul of their roster, the Sharks need a new look.
For the past 5 years, ever since the lockout, the Sharks have stuck with relatively the same core group of players. Guys like Ryan Clowe, Joe Thornton, Evgeni Nabokov, Patrick Marleau, Marc Edouard Vlasic, Doug Murray, Joe Pavelski and a few others have been the most valued players on the team. I feel it is finally time for the team to "rebuild" in a sense.
Sharks fans and managment have been hoping that by keeping, for the most part, the same group of guys together, that they would eventually learn their lesson and get over the playoff hump to win a cup. Well, after another failed mission to win the Cup, this was the last chance for this group of guys in my opinion.
Here, is my offseason plan for the San Jose Sharks:
1. Free up Cap Space
To do this, the Sharks need to release the following players:
- Evgeni Nabokov, $6,000,000 cap hit
- Nicklas Wallin, $1,725,000 cap hit
- Rob Blake, $3,500,000 cap hit
- Kent Huskins $2,000,000 cap hit (Or send him to the AHL as his contract isn't expiring)
Those 4 guys alone will save the Sharks $13,250,000 in cap space. If they choose to let Patrick Marleau go, it will $19,550,000. However as you will see, resigning him is part of my plan.
2. Trade Joe Thornton
The Sharks need to get as much out of him as they can. His value is only going to decrease, especially as the end of his contract nears. I propose they try to load up on picks and/or prospects by trading away Joe who has a $7,500,000 cap hit. This added to the 13 mil the Sharks are already saving will get the Sharks to over 20 million dollars to spend. Also, with the expiring contracts of Nichol and Malhotra, the Sharks have about 22 million to spend.
3. Resign Patrick Marleau, Scottie Nichol, Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi
All three of these guys are excellent forwards who play both ways effectively. Patrick Marleau lead the team in shorthanded goals, while Scottie Nichol was 2nd in the league in faceoff win %. Pavelski and Seto are RFA's, they are due for a bit of a raise. With that, the Sharks should have around 21 million to spend as I have already counted Marleau and Nichol's contract against what the Sharks have to spend.
Cap Space: $21,000,000
4. Trade for Tomas Kaberle
While I do understand that he has requested to stay on the East Coast, the Sharks should pursue him. They can use the picks or prospects that they obtained in the Thornton trade to get him.
Cap Space: $17,000,000
5. Trade for Patrick Sharp
The Hawks simply can't afford to keep him. His value will be slightly lowered due to this. I propose the Sharks offer up a guy like Vlasic and perhaps a mid level prospect to get him. The salaries should cancel out meaning that including the Kaberle addition, the Sharks will still have about 17 million to spend.
Cap Space: $17,000,000
6. Sign Paul Martin and Anton Volchenkov
Martin is an excellent two way defensman. He could easily put up 40+ points with the Sharks. Meanwhile, Anton Volchenkov is the best shot blocker in the league, a key statistic for a team that is losing their number 1 goalie. Rumors however have Volchenkov headed to Washington. If this happens, the Sharks should pursue one of either Dan Hamhuis or Dennis Seidenburg. For the sake of this blog however, lets assume the Sharks do succeed in getting Volchenkov. With these two additions, along with Kaberle, the team now has a formiddable defense. Assuming both these players get about $4,500,000 a year, the Sharks now have 8 million left to spend.
Cap Space: $8,000,000
7. Sign Tomas Holmstrom.
A big, gritty forward with lots of playoff experience. He could provide excellent leadership, as well as a scoring touch in front of the net. Estimated salary, $1,750,000.
Cap Space: $6,250,000
8. Sign Dan Ellis
The Sharks need a regular in goal. I like Alex Stalock and Thomas Greiss, but they need someone to take the majority of the games. If Ellis could play in goal 50-60 games during the season, that would be great, Stalock and/or Greiss could carry the rest of the load. With a much stronger defense than previous years, I believe the downgrade in goal could easily be cancelled out by a defense that knows how to keep the puck out of the net. Estimated salary: $2,000,000
Cap Space: $4,250,000
9. Sign Paul Kariya
Kariya has a ridiculous salary of 6 mil at the moment. However, I could easily see the Sharks signing him for 3 mil or less. He could provide experience as well and still has potential to score if given good linemates. Estimated salary: $2,500,000 (Even if Kariya wants a bit more, the Sharks have the money)
Cap Space: $1,750,000 (give or take about $500,000, depending on what Kariya wants)
With this, the Sharks still have a bit of money (1,750,000 - 1,250,000) left over to work with at the deadine in case they need a rental goalie for the remainder of the season, or if Doug Wilson sees a gap in the team. Being that teams only need to pay for a fraction of the player with deadline moves, this is more than enough money to work with.
With these moves, the Sharks lineup now looks like this:
1st Line: Heatley - Sharp - Marleau
2nd Line: Setoguchi - Pavelski - Kariya
3rd Line: Holmstrom - Malhotra - Clowe
4th Line: Mitchell - Nichol - McGinn
Scratches: Ferriero, Staubitz
1st Pair: Boyle - Martin
2nd Pair: Kaberle - Volchenkov
3rd Pair: Demers - Murray
Alex Stalock/Thomas Greiss (whoever isn't sent to the AHL)
Well guys, there you have it. I feel my team is a huge upgrade over even this seasons team, and sets the Sharks up for years to come. Thanks for reading. Til next time...