Eklund ready for return to Sharks

Plus some trade stuff

The NHL trade deadline has officially passed and here’s where we stand.

We’ll start with the good news. With all the moving pieces, Sharks fans will get to see William Eklund on the ice at SAP Center on Saturday. The Sharks are expected to call up the young forward for the first time this season.

JD Young was the first one to break that news. Sheng Peng has confirmed.

The actual call up did not happen until 12 p.m. PT today since the NHL requires that players must be on an AHL roster at 12 p.m. on trade deadline day to be eligible to be sent down for the playoffs. I imagine Eklund will get a look with the Sharks, and then, if the Barracuda make the playoffs, he’ll be sent down to help out.

James Reimer is also on the ice for practice so it looks like he was not dealt.

As for the trades, late, last night, the Sharks dealt Nick Bonino to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team he knows well from, you know, that time he won the Stanley Cup.

The Sharks, in return, received the Penguins’ 5th round pick and 7th round pick. The Sharks’ 5th rounder went to the Montreal Canadiens to broker the deal and make the cash work. Say what?!?

The Sharks also receive Arvid Henrikson from the Canadiens, but Sheng Peng reports Henrikson is a “throw in.” There’s a single condition on the Penguins’ 5th rounder. It turns into a 4th rounder if the Penguins make the Eastern Conference Finals.

I’m not sure I understand this deal unless General Manager Mike Grier is trying to build goodwill around the league. I want to give him a chance to allow his whole plan to play out, but I also would have really liked that 5th round pick over the 7th rounder.

Another small piece of business, the Sharks have traded Valdislav Namestnikov to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2025 4th round pick. No salary retained in that deal. I like this one. Grier picked up someone (Mikey Eyssimont) off the waiver wire for nothing and turned him into a future pick.

Meanwhile, the Sharks did a quick AHL trade. The team receives center Jacob Peterson from the Dallas Stars for center Scott Reedy. Peterson is a 23-year-old Swedish hockey player who was drafted 132nd overall by the Stars in 2017. Reedy, also 23, was drafted 102nd overall in that same draft year.

The Athletic’s Corey Masisak had an interesting take on how the Sharks’ prospect pool looks compared to how it looked less than 12 months ago.

And…if you see one thing this trade deadline, watch this:

Tank for Bedard watch

To the Tank for Bedard watch where the depleted Sharks lineup is doing its part. St. Louis was also on the outskirts of the competition, so allowing the Blues to walk away with two points in regulation was good long-term planning on Sharks’ part.

San Jose remains at 29th in points leaguewide, but the team is currently tied with the Anaheim Ducks for that spot. Each team has 48 points.

Even better news, the Chicago Blackhawks have 47 points and a game in hand, while the Columbus Blue Jackets have 46 points with a game in hand. It’s a race to the bottom and the Sharks are in it.

Jabber Jaws

As for what happened on the ice last night, it’s a game the remaining Sharks would rather forget. San Jose had a 2-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues going into the lockerroom after the first period. When the players returned at the end of the second period, they were down 4-2. By the night's end, St. Louis had added two more to the tally, and San Jose could only muster one. The Blues won 6-3.

Quinn on the Sharks’ second period

“Just a 180. I mean, you can’t play a period like that expect to win a hockey game. I mean, we went from playing a good brand of hockey to completely abandoning what we did in the first period and just very sloppy and individualistic and you know…Then I thought we did a pretty good third and then gave up that crusher of a goal. The fifth goal was a crusher and just disappointing and you know the problem is we make mistakes, they’re of such big proportion that it costs us goals, you know. We got 23 shots and give up five goals, six goals, one empty netter. So, our mistakes are just so big right now that they end up in the back of our net and it’s just managing the game and understanding who we are as players and it’s just…it’s something that we’re going to have to correct quickly.”

“I thought we were playing out. We had good puck moment. We were supporting each other. We were doing a lot of good things. And that just stopped. We just played reckless hockey. Just, you know, obviously our penalty kill let us down after, you know, part of the strength of our team and they get two power play goals. So, just everything that could have gone wrong in that period did and you know it’s nice to see us get a shorty and battle back but you know, you just can’t play that bad of a period, expect to win hockey. Gave up four goals in a period.”

“The whole game got away from us in the second period.”

Quinn on the Bonino-James Reimer hug after the game and a potential trade
(Note: It was later discovered that Bonino was traded and the embrace was a goodbye)

“Maybe he hugged him because it was a tough game for our team, so maybe they were making each other feel better. Not that I know of anyway.”

Quinn on trades

“It’s a hard part of sports and as a coach, you get attached to your players. I mean, I think it’s one of the reasons all of us get into this profession, is not only do you want to help people professionally, but you’ve come attached to them personally. And, you know, if some of these guys get moved moving forward here, it’ll be hard.”

Quinn on the state of the lockerroom amid trade deadline

“You can feel it for sure. There’s definitely a different feel. We were talking about that before the game today and it’s just, you know, it’s a hard time and when you’re in our situation, maybe a little bit harder because you know, we’re not a young team, we’re an older team and that maybe makes it a little bit more difficult. So you definitely feel it.”

Steven Lorentz on the trade deadline

“It’s definitely something that guys say, you know, it’s not really on their mind. They try to get distracted, not really think about it, but I think it’s on everyone’s minds, you know, we’re only human and obviously the position we’re in and, you know, we obviously have some talent in here and guys, there’s a lot of question marks. So, we don’t know what’s going to happen. This is kind of my first time in this position where there’s this many moving pieces and obviously you guys can tell that there’s already been a lot of you know, movement around the league and stuff like that. So, we’ll see tomorrow when it’s over it’s obviously we’re just gonna have to deal with you know, the squad we got and we’re obviously we’ve been happy with what we had all year and you know, it just comes down to looking yourself in the mirror and you know, bringing your game and we’re all here for a reason and being able to contribute in this lineup night in and night out.”

Lorentz on whether giving up the lead is a psychological issue

“I’m not too sure it’s definitely something that, like I said, we’ve dealt with kind of throughout the year and it seems like we’ve had some leads, you know, even going third period and it seems like that kind of falls apart. So like I said, it’s definitely not an easy League. You know, every team is competitive even, you know, some teams might have a night off but you know, you still have you know, a couple of game changing players on each team that can you know, get two goals real quick and that can turn the game around real fast. So, it’s definitely something that’s...it’s a learning experience for all of us you know, from veterans to rookies and then you know young guys that you can’t take shifts off, like I said, in this league. Guys are too good and they’ll take advantage and they’ll capitalize so, you know, you can’t win a game in the first period but you can definitely make it hard on yourself and make it, you know, you can lose a game almost.”

Lorentz on the team’s state of mind

“Our record is what it is, but at the end of the day, we’re a tight knit group and nobody comes in here every single day, you know, slouching and upset and mad at performances and stuff like that. Obviously, we’re disappointed, but we have such a tight knit group of guys and we have guys pulling on the same rope and like I said, it’s frustrating that we have the results that we have because guys aren’t coming in here and pointing fingers at each other and then blaming and this and that. It is a tight knit group and we all want to win, you know, it’s not that we don’t want to win. It’s just these little mistakes that, you know, whether they’re mental errors or we get stuck out there too long and this or that. You can point all the fingers you want. You know we’re a tight knit group we stick together and it’s just unfortunate.”

The Sharks play tomorrow at 3 p.m. at SAP Center against the Washington Capitals.