Kent Huskins Signs With San Jose Sharks- 2 Years at 1.7 Per

Kent Huskins has signed a two year deal worth $1.7M per today. Courtesy of David Pollak:

2:10 p.m. — Nothing official from the Sharks, but TSN reports that defenseman Kent Huskins has been re-signed for two years at $1.7 million per year.

- Working The Corners

With the salary cap situation the way it is, one would have to assume a blueliner is on the move- there's no way San Jose can afford to pay Huskins that sort of money to serve as a 7. Brad Lukowich was disappointing after the first twenty games of the season, and freeing up his $1.56 M salary would go a long way towards getting San Jose's offseason back to a manageable level. Things look pretty cloudy as of 3 PM Wednesday.

As for Huskins, it's hard to analyze the validity of the deal considering he didn't play much with the team this season. At first glance however, I think Wilson is overpaying for a guy who is just coming off a $600 K contract and was injured for most of last season. The belief that DW tends to stay away from the overpayment frenzy of July 1st may come into question if Huskins struggles next season.

Recent Career (courtesy of Yahoo Sports)

2006-07 ANH 33 0 3 3 -3 14 0 1 0 0 0 0 16 .000
2007-08 ANH 76 4 15 19 23 59 1 0 0 0 2 0 46 .087
2008-09 ANH 33 2 4 6 6 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 .100
Career Totals (Full) 142 6 22 28 26 100 1 1 0 0 2 0 82 .073

As Teas has mentioned in the comments, Huskins is a stay at home defenseman. His stat line from 2007-2008 shows as much, as Huskins notched a +23 during the regular season. How much of that was a product of being sheltered by Pronger and Niedermayer (i.e. seeing easier minutes against a lower class of forwards) is up for debate.

If Lukowich is moved it may be an upgrade in personnel, but the salary cap situation is still of primary concern.

[Update 7/2]: Arthur from Anaheim Calling has a very informative piece on Huskins. An excerpt follows:

As far as the price, I think he compares well with the 1.7M journeyman from this year: Marc Bergeron, Mathieu Dandenault, etc. When you consider he'll be taking the ice as 5th or 6th cheapest on a nightly basis, he's pretty solid at that price. He offers skating ability and experienced defensive-defense with the potential to use his 6'3" 215 lb frame more effectively. San Jose can find a first-contract guy with more upside, of course, but I don't think they want to take any risks going into another playoff run.

- Arthur From Anaheim Calling

While I'm still not completely sold on paying Huskins $1.7 M per year considering his tenure in the NHL (three seasons), injury last year, and salary cap ramifications of the deal for San Jose, Arthur's analysis held my hand and guided me away from the ledge a bit.  From the description he offers (as well as a conversation I had with my Ducks friend Joe), Huskins is not likely to be paired with Dan Boyle, as both players can be classified as "puck movers." This may cause a potential problem if Brad Lukowich is moved and a more defensive minded replacement is not brought in, but that's an issue I think we can put aside for now- it seems as if there are more pressing concerns at hand.

Thanks again Arthur.

[Update 7/2]: Digging through the BoC archives (always a treat), here's what Earl Sleek had to say about Huskins at the deadline:

Kent Huskins is a bit of a different story -- he was on the cup roster, but played a very depth role -- and that's probably where he belongs. Still, it's not hard to like Huskins (especially if you read Rudy's letter linked above) [Ed. Note: here is the link] so long as he's a bottom-pairing guy, which is assumedly where the Sharks would play him.

We're a bit spoiled in Anaheim when it comes to defenders, so maybe the bar is set a bit high, but still there was no disappointment in Huskins. He was solid enough in his sheltered minutes, and every once in a while he would pull off a spectacular 1-on-5 deke and stun the building (this is actually what I think of as "Huskins Time"). In terms of defenseman development, Huskins still feels pretty young -- he probably doesn't have the highest ceiling, but I think he's still improving.

- Earl Sleek of BoC

Go Sharks.