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Midweek Mailbag: Welcome to the regular season

Sie is here to answer readers’ questions!

NHL: Preseason-San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Every Wednesday during the season, your Managing Editor here at Fear the Fin is going to field your questions. Burning topic in your brain? You can email them to with the subject line “Midweek Mailbag” or you can wait for our tweet to go up early in the week!

Sharks hockey is officially back tonight, but I know you’ve still got questions going into the season. Before this team can raise your blood pressure, I’m here to calm your nerves.

Let’s talk start of season!

Maintenance. It’s nothing to worry about. This preseason was particularly important to see what the younger guys are capable of and taking the best puck-tipper in the league off the ice is a much better assessment of their skills. We already know Joe is ready for the season.

I hate to say this, but the best use of Barclay Goodrow might be a trade. His AHL numbers have been good, but his NHL play has struggled and at 24-years old and 77 NHL games played, it’s past the point of adjusting to the caliber of play. Trading him is better than letting him sit in the press box indefinitely, losing him for nothing on waivers, or playing him over younger guys who need the ice time to develop.

If Marcus Sorensen can be consistent, his ceiling could be a second liner. He’s older than you’d expect (25), but this will be only his second season playing in North America, which gives him a little more wiggle-room in terms of development.

Using his 2014-15 season with Djurgårdens IF of the SHL, that scoring pace would make Sorensen a 30-point player in the NHL. That translation factor comes out the same using his AHL numbers from last year. Had he played 82 games in the NHL last year and scored at the rate from those 19 games he did play with the Sharks, he was on pace for 8 points on the season. There’s a huge parity there and it needs to be addressed.

Kevin Labanc bulked up this summer. Per Mercury News:

He also completely restructured his diet, cutting out red meat in favor of leaner proteins, such as chicken and salmon. He got rid of dairy and sugar, too.

As a result, Labanc estimates that he’s put on about seven pounds of muscle while dropping his body fat down from 14 percent to 10 percent. He feels stronger, faster and expects to have more energy down the stretch this season.

He’s coming into this season believing he can be an NHL player and his summer regimen seems to be a huge part of that.

The answer here is a solid maybe. If the kids don’t pan out by the season’s midpoint, Doug Wilson has made it clear he isn’t afraid to make a trade to find someone who will. Our AHL team is still stacked. Clearing out some of our forwards might not be a horrible thing.

I think Meier, Labanc, and O’Regan are almost definitely safe, as well as Heed and Ryan on defense. Carpenter might take a little more to ship out, but if the return is good, I can see a situation where it’d be worth it to have him in trade talks. He’s got a lot of appeal.

First, Joe Thornton is ready to go and seems no worse for the wear. Thank god.

Second, Danny O’Regan is not yet a top line guy. It’d be a lot to expect out of him when he’s only one season removed from Division I hockey. He might be able to get there, though.

Labanc trimming down over the summer has him looking incredibly impressive. These young guys are really fighting for those spots.

I would probably kill a man to see Joakim Ryan and Tim Heed as an NHL d-pairing. The preseason giveth, and the regular season taketh away.

Wrong site that I write for, but I don’t know, man, the Canucks did better than the Sharks in the preseason. My whole worldview has shifted.

Labanc is the determining factor. That’s the guy they want on the top line, and of the loosely termed “rookies,” pairing Labanc with the Joes opens up more depth through the line-up. I think we’ll see less movement than last year, but it seems apparent that they’ll go the route of moving guys once they start under-performing. To be clear: this is not an ideal way to do it.


I mean, does anything else hit every single one of your emotions?