Sharks sign Defenseman Jim Vandermeer to a one year deal

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 24: Jim Vandermeer #2 of the Edmonton Oilers fights Cam Janssen #55 of the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on March 24, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

According to Working The Corners, the San Jose Sharks have signed former Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jim Vandermeer to a one year contract that will pay him $1.0 MM per year next season.

Vandermeer is expected to come in and occupy a bottom pairing or seventh defenseman role similar to the one Kent Huskins and Niclas Wallin played last season for San Jose. He's not an impact player on the blueline but will shore up the defensive capabilities of the team when the inevitable injuries occur on the backend.

Copper & Blue, the best source of NHL analysis on SB Nation's Hockey network, had an opportunity to watch Vandermeer all throughout last season when he played for the Oilers. Here is what they had to say about the 31 year old defenseman heading into free agency:

So what lies ahead for Jim Vandermeer? He is set to become a free agent on July 1 and he will almost certainly get a job somewhere in the NHL next season. But should that place be Edmonton? Personally I would hope that the Oilers look to make an upgrade on Vandermeer during the offseason. At best he was okay this year which in itself isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. And as Derek showed yesterday he didn't really carry anyone this year and was, more often than not, carried a little bit himself. The numbers he put up this year are what you can expect next season and maybe for another year or two after that.There is still value in his game but that value is diminishing every year.

If Tambellini did decide to bring Vandermeer back it would need to be at a greatly reduced salary and in the role Strudwick currently occupies, the 6/7 spot on the depth chart. A one year contract worth something a little bit south of half of the $2.3M that he made this season, say $1M plus or minus a couple dollars, would probably be reasonable considering the season that he had and that he is a bottom pairing defenseman at best.

>> "Jim Vandermeer, He is Who We Thought He Was"-- Copper & Blue

Another article on Vandermeer can be found here.

As C&B's articles indicate, Vandermeer is a tough, defensive minded defensive defenseman who is a 6-7 guy that is a pure depth move for San Jose. During the last three seasons he has played 2:04, 2:17, and 1:47 on the penalty kill during stints in Edmonton, Phoenix, and Calgary respectively, which is a nice talent to have for a player expected to fill in for a depth role.

This changes very little for San Jose in regards to needs and wants on the roster front. As it stands as of this posting, the Sharks blueline is shaping out to look like this next season:

Dan Boyle - Douglas Murray

Brent Burns - Marc Edouard Vlasic

Jason Demers - Justin Braun/Jim Vandermeer

San Jose now has three defensive defenseman who can patrol the blueline as lefties, a need that was addressed with the acquisition of Vandermeer. It isn't a high impact signing that will push the Sharks over the top, but San Jose decided to get tougher on the backend in regards to their 6-7 slot.

Vandermeer had 122 hits and 78 blocked shots in 62 games last season with Edmonton, and tallied 158 hits and 56 blocked shots the year prior with Phoenix.

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