General Manager Doug Wilson has a myriad of difficult decisions to make this offseason. and , the faces of this franchise for nearly ten years, are set to hit unrestricted free agency and could very well be in another team's jersey next year. Restricted free agents and are looking for pay raises that correspond with their skill sets, and how much is allocated to them could determine what direction San Jose takes for years to come.
We've chimed in with our preliminary thoughts on many of these questions in an article following the WCF loss to Chicago, and a more in-depth look will begin later this week. But today we turn to some of our peers to get their opinions.
In order to get a better grasp of what others are thinking right now, Fear The Fin sent out an online survey to a number of individuals familiar with the Sharks. Some were bloggers, others were members of the mainstream media who may be privy to information inside the locker room that the general fan is unaware of.
All respondents were anonymous. Ten replied out of a pool of twenty, which makes us a little sad. Here we thought we were the prettiest little girls on the block that everyone wanted to hang out with. Oh how our souls burn for the hair braiding and pillow fights that will never be.
The questions ranged from the very specific ("How much will Joe Pavelski's cap hit be in 10-11") to a more general look at the team ("Will San Jose be better, worse, or equal to where they were last year"). Other questions were considered ("On a scale of 1-10 how awesome is Plank's mustache?") but eventually scrapped because receiving a unanimous response (11!) isn't as exciting as potentially generating some controversy.
What follows are the answers to these questions. Feel free to debate amongst yourselves on the respectability of our prognostications, and offer your own answers in the comments.
100% of respondents felt that Joe Pavelski would be back in San Jose to begin the 2010-2011 regular season. The majority (50%) felt the deal would be for five years, with responses of three years (10%) and four years (40%) also being selected.
60% felt Pavelski's cap hit would land in the $4.0-$5.0MM range. 30% pegged his salary in the $3.0-4.0MM range, and 10% estimated he would command something in the neighborhood of $5-6MM per year.
90% of respondents felt that Patrick Marleau would be back in San Jose to begin the 2010-2011 regular season. The majority (60%) felt the deal would be for 7+ years, with responses of two, three, and five years also receiving votes.
60% felt Marleau's cap hit would land in the $5.0-6.0MM range. 30% pegged his salary in the $6.0-7.0MM range, and 10% felt it would take a mere $3-4MM to sign him.
90% of respondents felt that Evgeni Nabokov would not be back in San Jose to begin the 2010-2011 regular season. If re-signed, the majority (55.6%) felt the deal would be for two years, with responses of one year (22.2%) and three years (22.2%) also being selected.
44.4% felt Nabokov's cap hit would land in the $3.0-$4.0MM range. 33.3% pegged his salary in the $5.0-6.0MM range, and 22.2% estimated he would command something in the neighborhood of $4.0-5.0MM per year.
100% of respondents felt that Devin Setoguchi would be back in San Jose to begin the 2010-2011 regular season. The majority was split between a two year deal (40%) and a three year deal (40%), with four years receiving the remaining vote (20%).
70% felt Setoguchi's cap hit would land in the $3.0-4.0MM range; 30% pegged his salary in the $2.0-3.0MM range.
90% of participants felt that Sharks Captainwill retire from the NHL after a 20 year career.
90% predicted the organization will spend to, or very near, next season's salary cap limit.
The majority (60%) felt that four entry-level players (ex. McGinn, Couture, McLaren etc.) would make the opening night roster. 20% felt that six entry-level players would be on the roster, with three (10%) and five (10%) also receiving votes.
70% felt that San Jose would sign a free agent forward this offseason.
The sample was split on whether or not the Sharks would sign a top-three free agent defenseman during the offseason-- 50% responded in the affirmative, 50% in the negative.
60% felt the Sharks would tradethis offseason, while 40% did not.
70% felt the Sharks would draft in the first round at the upcoming NHL Draft.
40% believed that San Jose would ice a team that, on paper, is equal to the roster they assembled last season. The remaining participants were split, with 30% feeling the team would be better, and 30% feeling the team would be worse.