It started as a whisper and built to a roar. Oh, sorry, it’s early and I didn’t think I would ever have to address this particular rumor. Micheal Haley has played 36 games this season and, if he draws into the lineup against the Philadelphia Flyers, will play in his 37th.
Speculation has arisen in the Fear the Fin comments section yet again that this is because the Sharks want Haley to play 40 games this season. Why, you ask? The expansion draft. From capfriendly.com: Each team must expose at least two forwards who played 40+ games this season or 70+ games over the past two. One piece these readers are missing? I’ll let you read for yourself (emphasis added myself):
- under contract in 2017-18, AND
- played in 40 or more NHL games last season, OR
- played in 70 or more NHL games in the last two seasons
Let’s head to the Sharks Cap Friendly page and ... nope, Haley wasn’t secretly signed to an extension while we were sleeping. Haley can be selected by Vegas in the expansion draft but he can not be counted as one of the Sharks’ two required exposures. Here’s the chaser to this whole goofiness: the Sharks don’t need to expose Haley anyway to hit the required two exposed forwards anyway!
Both Joel Ward and Mikkel Boedker will almost certainly be left exposed and both easily hit the requirements set out by the NHL. Ward and Boedker have played more than 40 games this season, are under contract this season and the Sharks wouldn’t mind getting out from the remainder of those contracts. Never mind that Vegas won’t be drafting them ... this is all fantasy stuff, right?
Haley is playing because DeBoer wants him in the lineup. That’s the best truth I can offer you right now.