One of the more maddening elements of the Sharks has been how they've generally spent the past few free agent periods apparently counting palm fronts outside the Tank than trying to swing some deals. When asked why the apparent inactivity, the answer has always been the same: we're just fine the way we are, be patient, wait for the kids in the system to develop. We're still waiting. Yes, the team has made an effort to lock up key players through long-term deals, but the "that's just as good as signing someone from another team" speech was more than enough to spark riots outside of 525 West Santa Clara Street. If Sharks fans did such things, which we don't.
That said, looking at the list of this year's UFA brigade indicates it might well be a year when not making much of an effort to sign people might not be such a bad thing. Taking Brian Campbell out of the equation, there's not a whole of of "there" there this year, as this list of the top thirty players (pared down to twenty-nine) available as compiled by the fine folk at sportscity.com attests:
Top 2008 NHL Unrestricted Free Agents
|2||Brian Campbell||28||San Jose|
|5||Jaromir Jagr||35||NY Rangers|
|6||Sean Avery||27||NY Rangers|
|9||Vaclav Prospal||32||Tampa Bay|
|18||Michal Rozsival||28||NY Rangers|
|24||Dan Ellis||27||Nashville||Re-signed with the Predators, 2 years, $3.5 million|
|29||Ruslan Fedotenko||28||NY Islanders|
|30||Paul Mara||27||NY Rangers|
Uh, yeah. Maybe I'm missing something, but other than a possible short-term spark from Mats Sundin who on this list could genuinely benefit Los Tiburones? And let's be real. Marian Hossa is not coming to San Jose. Not for the amount of money he can command. Far better to focus on re-signing Campbell, his playoff woes notwithstanding.
Y'all know what's what, so feel free to chime in on this one.