Likely motivated by news that Adam Burish's back surgery could keep him out of the lineup for several months, the Sharks have somehow managed to acquire a fourth-liner who might be even worse at hockey in Edmonton's Mike Brown, in exchange for a 4th round pick in 2014.
The price the Sharks paid is negligible but it's a confusing move to be sure. At the risk of being blunt, Brown is terrible. Like, really awful. Over the past five seasons, his teams have earned just 43.8% of the shot attempts with him on the ice at even-strength (good for 390th among 399 qualifying forwards over that span) despite the fact that he starts shifts in the offensive zone more frequently than his own end and predominantly goes head-to-head against opposing fourth-liners. Granted, his linemates have mostly been fourth-liners as well and he has played for some particularly brutal Oilers and Maple Leafs teams so it's hard to pin that performance entirely on him.
But players don't consistently put up numbers that bad by accident and, combined with Brown's nonexistent offensive ability (he has 15 goals in 289 NHL games) it's hard to argue that he's even an upgrade over Matt Pelech at this point. Brown has logged some shorthanded ice time in the past, largely in Anaheim and Toronto, and proved reasonable when used in that situation but he's essentially gone full-facepuncher in the interim; it will be interesting to see if he's used in spot duty on the penalty kill in San Jose.
"Something something leadership grit facepunching" is likely the rationalization for this move, which puts the Sharks at the 50-contract limit with Brown's (mercifully) expiring $736,667 cap hit now in tow. We'll turn it over to Meg from Battle Of California for the most reasonable explanation I can think of for why this move was made:
Re: Mike Brown. Sharks clearly felt they needed an anchor to make things fair to the other teams in the league.— Megalodon (@MegalodonBOC) October 22, 2013
But hey, at least he has an amazing moustache.