Mar 31, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) saves a shot from San Jose Sharks right wing Tommy Wingels (57) during the first period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
As widely reported, the Sharks extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents T.J. Galiardi, Matt Irwin, Tim Kennedy, Brandon Mashinter, Frazer McLaren, Matt Pelech, Nick Petrecki, James Sheppard and Alex Stalock prior to the 2PM PDT deadline yesterday. That leaves forwards Benn Ferriero, Tony Lucia, James Marcou and Cam MacIntyre along with goaltender Tyson Sexsmith without QOs, meaning they will become unrestricted free agents on July 1st.
The three RFAs conspicuously absent from either list are the Sharks' three best: Andrew Desjardins, Tommy Wingels and Justin Braun. Desjardins has been inked to a one-year, one-way contract, Wingels to a two-year, one-way contract and Braun to a three-year, one-way deal. We'll update this post with financial details as soon as they become available but obviously getting three of their best young players signed was a priority this offseason and the Sharks have followed through early, allowing them to explore the unrestricted free agent market with their bottom defense pair and a third of their bottom six already in place.
Nothing out of the ordinary here as the only move made that can be considered even remotely unexpected was the team's decision not to qualify Ferriero. The Boston native led the Sharks in 5v5 goals per 60 minutes this past year but that was mostly the result of an inflated shooting percentage as his underlying numbers took a turn for the worse from his first two seasons in the league. Clearly the team thinks they can find a superior depth player and it's hard to argue with that. For now, here's Ferriero's finest moment in teal, with an assist from the Sharks' biggest offseason acquisition so far.
UPDATE: According to CSN Insider Kevin Kurz, Wingels' contract will pay him $700k the first year and $850k the second for a $775k annual cap hit. Needless to say, that's terrific value for a player who drove possession at a very high level last season and could benefit quite a bit if his shooting percentage regresses next season. Finally, according to the folks at Cap Geek, Desjardins' one-year deal will pay him $640k while Braun's three-year contract averages a cap hit of $1.25 million, identical to that of Jason Demers. Three really good deals by Wilson.