With the San Jose Sharks season over and six hours to kill at the Philadelphia airport, I decided now would be a perfect time to take some questions from readers. So below I’ve embedded Twitter questions with my answers below. Right. Let’s get right to it.
Step 1: Don’t sign Roman Polak. Step 2: Well ... the Sharks have some options here. Mirco Mueller played with the Barracuda for most of the season and, quite frankly, didn’t impress anyone. Perhaps he’ll figure it out this next season and can play with Brenden Dillon on the third pairing; but if he doesn’t, Tim Heed is an option.
If the Sharks decide to go outside the organization, there’s a whole list of defenders who could fill the hole. Right now they have $10.5 million in cap space to sign Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto and a backup goaltender. They should have enough left over to sign a sixth defender, whether he be from in the organization or outside it.
Honestly I don’t think they will because the Sharks don’t really need to sign another forward. With Timo Meier likely to make the team, San Jose won’t have many forward slots available assuming they sign Matt Nieto (I think they will). That being said, it wouldn’t totally shock me — but it would be quite disappointing.
I've touched on this before, but I sincerely doubt it. I don’t know if Marleau still wants to go, but even if he does I think the Sharks would have a hard time finding a taker. He wasn’t particularly good this season and the market for “not particularly good and getting paid more than $6 million” is ... small.
Assuming Patrick Marleau stays in San Jose this season, the Sharks are probably okay in center depth. Run Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Marleau and Chris Tierney down the middle and I think San Jose is in business. Hertl is also a center candidate — maybe put him as the third line center with Meier on the top line with Thornton and Pavelski.
I think so, yes. He surprised a lot of people around the Sharks at training camp last season and he played a great QMJHL season this year. I fully expect Meier to make the team out of training camp this fall.
I like the prospect pool the Sharks have. If they do make any signings, guys like Tommy Wingels and Melker Karlsson are the most likely (IMO) to be sent packing. I don’t know what the trade market would be like for either player (I assume not great), but we’ll see.
With this group, I think the Sharks can make another run next year. In two years? I’m less optimistic.
This is tough — for me it’s a tie between Joonas Donskoi and Martin Jones. Both definitely exceeded my expectations this season and I’m very excited to see what they do next season.
The Sharks have Jones signed for the next two seasons and my guess is that he’ll be extended before that. The backup question is something I’ll have a longer post on at some point, but if the Sharks don’t promote Aaron Dell (who’s a UFA, by the way) there are plenty of goalies on the market.
My guess is that Hertl doesn’t move to center ... but I won't rule it out, either. I’ve already touched on Meier, but I think Barclay Goodrow has a slightly better chance than Nikolay Goldobin to make the squad.
Well, that Jason Demers guy is a UFA... so is Keith Yandle if the Sharks find a giant pot of cap space buried underneath SAP Center. More realistically a guy like Kyle Okposo should at least be looked at if the price is right.
Some of these answers will be expanded into full posts during the offseason, but...well, we’ve got some time.