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Barracuda still in good shape for Calder Cup run

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Loss of Goldobin not too great to overcome

San Jose Barracuda Flickr

The NHL trade deadline has come and gone and the San Jose Barracuda have escaped mostly unscathed. With the big club having Stanley Cup aspirations we all knew going into the deadline that any subtractions would likely come from the Barracuda. Sure enough during the second intermission of last night’s San Jose vs. Toronto Maple Leafs matchup it was announced Jannik Hansen was going to make his way to San Jose in exchange for Barracuda winger Nikolay Goldobin.

Goldobin will be missed

I’m going to approach this from an AHL perspective and leave the analysis of the trade to the rest of the FTF family who has covered the topic here, here, and here. If you are looking for my personal thoughts hit me up on Twitter.

From a Barracuda perspective the loss of Goldobin is significant, he was third in team scoring with 15 goals, 26 assists and 41 points in 46 games. His points-per-game was a respectable 0.89 adding five power play goals on the year. We all knew Goldobin could score goals, though, what has gone criminally unreported by pockets of the Sharks media is how far his defensive game had come over this time.

He was forechecking better, back-checking better and far more responsible without the puck. While I will concede that this was not totally evident in his two-game stint the fact is that he has improved tremendously this year under Roy Sommer and this is now Vancouver's gain.

Scoring should be replaced

Fortunately for the Barracuda, they boast the deepest lineup of any Sharks affiliate in the history of the franchise. As the Sharks get healthy they will get more reinforcements like Marcus Sorensen who now replaces Goldobin as third in scoring with 17 goals and 17 assists in 34 games. Once Hansen clears his immigration hurdles and Donskoi is healthy it only seems logical that Micheal Haley will become the 13th forward.

With DeMelo approaching a return to health coming off the injured reserve next week Tim Heed will likely find himself back beside Joakim Ryan on the blue line consistently again. Finally, with the forward spots all filled, Timo Meier can probably expect to play out the year on the Barracuda as well. Meier has 11 goals and 8 assists in 21 games for the Barracuda with a points-per-game percentage of 0.83.

Kevin Labanc was also returned to the AHL squad in what is likely a paper transaction to make him eligible to play for the Barracuda should the Sharks Stanley Cup bid fall short. So barring injury the Barracuda may actually enter the Calder Cup playoffs in better shape than prior to the trade deadline barring injury call ups. Either way, it's time to jump on the bandwagon if you have not already because this is a team that is primed for a deep playoff run.