The season is just around the corner (never really understood that phrasing, as time is linear and all), and we thought it would be great to give you a quick rundown on the roster, with a little blurb on each player. If you feel like we've covered this before, well, we have. But we're going to expand on it a little, include the stories that we've written on the players over the past year and give our input on what we expect next season. We don't know exactly how the lines will shake up yet, so everything from here on out is going to be based off the line up McLellan iced in the final preseason game against Phoenix.
Final cuts on Tuesday. God save us all.
#64 / Left Wing / San Jose Sharks
Aug 05, 1988
Our two cents:
Jamie McGinn remains another X-factor in the Sharks lineup, and his point production alongside newly signed center Manny Malhotra will go a long way towards tightening up the secondary scoring output that plagued the 2008-2009 roster down the stretch run.
McGinn has shown the ability to score at the professional level, potting 19 goals in 47 games last year with Worcester, as well as putting up gaudy numbers in juniors when he played for the Ottawa 67's. He's a round two draft selection, and while that doesn't necessarily come with the expectations of being a first round pick, there's going to be a considerable amount of weight on his shoulders to put the puck in the net. With the top six drawing all sorts of attention and subsequently free up the third line to feast on lower-tiered competition, his production will go a long way in turning San Jose a bona-fide Cup contender. If McGinn struggles to find the net throughout the year, San Jose may have some issues winning hockey games against good defensive teams (see: Flames, Calgary).
The question is, does McGinn have the skill set to provide what the fanbase is expecting out of him? Yes, we believe he does. A big body, above average speed, some nice power moves to the net, solid wrist shot from the circles, a willingness to dig in the corner's- kid's got the makings of becoming a top six forward in the near future. With Malhotra as his pivot the opportunities are going to be there, especially once April hits and defenses begin to double shift against lines one and two.
Godspeed McGinn. Godspeed.
#0 / Center / San Jose Sharks
May 18, 1980
Our two cents:
Penalty kill, penalty kill, penalty kill. While San Jose is going to be counting on Manny Malhotra to establish some chemistry with Jamie McGinn in the offensive zone as well, Malhotra's greatest contributions are going to be defensively. And oh what a world beater he is.
Malhotra logged big time shorthanded minutes under Ken Hitchcock last season, and as we mentioned before, that should be a testament to how good this guy is going to be for a kill that needed to replace Grier's minutes as well as take the load off of Pavelski and Marleau. Those are tough minutes to play, and by reducing the amount of time anyone in the top six will need to spend shorthanded, Doug Wilson has set up his roster to stay fresh down the stretch and get better shifts out of them at even strength.
Toss in his excellent faceoff numbers (fourth in the NHL last season for guys with 700+ draws) and you have a prototypical elite defensive forward that has, a mere $.700 M later, shored up a lot of previous questions on the validity of San Jose's bottom lines. His career numbers indicate he should be good for roughly 30 points, but with an elite first and second line that is going to draw the top pairings all night, it's not of the question to expect Malhotra to have a career year offensively.
San Jose is going to be one hell of a bear to play against if those guys click.
#41 / Right Wing / San Jose Sharks
Sep 03, 1978
Previous FTF Coverage: Sharks re-sign Vesce and sign four others (Teas)
2008-2009 Stats (Nashville Predators)
Our two cents:
Ortmeyer is another one of those fringe players, but it seems as if he's making a case to plant himself on the third line with Malhotra and McGinn. Before missing most of last season with a knee injury, Ortmeyer had established himself as a decent defensive forward with Nashville and the New York Rangers.
Problem is, the knee injury isn't his first trip to the infirmary. He's only played more than 60 games once in his five year NHL career, and although he hasn't been in the league long, he's already 31. The age, coupled with his all out style of play, produces a dangerous cocktail. Think Martini, but substitute the vodka with rubbing alcohol. Shake in a cement mixer. He's also a black hole offensively, and has scored more than 10 points once in his career. For a team that lacked secondary scoring last year, that's not the best news.
The optimist in us says that Ortmeyer will provide solid defense until he goes down with his token injury. However, he looks more suited for a fourth line role (with Ferriero taking over this spot), than anything else.