The San Jose Sharks have re-signed defenseman Tim Heed to a one-year contract.
According to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz, the one-year deal for the depth defenseman comes in at an average annual value (AAV) of $960,000.
Tim Heed’s contract comes in at just under $1 million (960k)— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) July 1, 2019
Heed’s signing follows the news of Sharks forward Timo Meier’s four-year extension with the club at a $6 million AAV, along with news of the departures of forwards such as former Sharks captain (feels weird — it’s a little too soon) Joe Pavelski — now with the Dallas Stars, Gustav Nyquist — the Columbus Blue Jackets and Joonas Donskoi — Colorado Avalanche.
The one-year, $960K deal for the 28-year old Swedish defenseman is very affordable, particularly as it relates to San Jose’s tenuous salary cap situation. It falls below Evolving Wild’s projection of a two-year deal at an AAV of $1,021,113 million, but it also makes sense for Heed personally, as well.
With Justin Braun dealt to the Flyers roughly two weeks ago, Heed may now get his first real crack at a full season with the big club to showcase what he can offer, particularly offensively. In and out of the lineup in seasons past, Heed managed to total just 11 points (3g, 8a) in 29 games in the 2017-18 season and 13 points (2g, 11a) in 37 games last season.
A one-year deal allows him a chance to significantly increase those point totals in the upcoming season and earn a bigger payday for himself in the future either with the Sharks or another organization. Worth noting is that right-hand shot defenseman prospect Ryan Merkley is not expected to join the big club this season barring a terrific camp showing in the early fall, but presumably has a decent chance to do so in the following 2020-21 season when, likely un-coincidentally, Heed’s one-year contract expires.
Heed’s signing now sets the Sharks defense with seven players with fellow Swede Erik Karlsson, Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Brent Burns, Brenden Dillon, Radim Simek and Jacob Middleton. With $7,882,583 in cap space remaining, the Sharks need to lock up restricted free agent forward Kevin Labanc, sign forwards Joe Thornton and in all likelihood Patrick Marleau to inexpensive one-year deals, and
fill out the roster provide an opportunity for some of the younger players to join the club in Dylan Gambrell (who also needs to be re-signed), Alex True, Alexander Chmelevski and Ivan Chekhovich, or a surprise player.
However, Doug Wilson can still sign an impact player despite the cap troubles, but it would take a trade of a player or a combination of players such as Melker Karlsson, Aaron Dell and Brenden Dillon to make it possible cap-wise.