Should the Sharks target Michael Grabner?
While no rumors have linked the winger to the Sharks, the team's needs read like a checklist for the 24-year old Michael Grabner: Youth? Check. Another scoring threat? Check. Help on the penalty kill? Check. Speed? Oh, that's a big check!
This past year, however, Grabner hit his sophomore slump. In 78 games, Grabner only posted 20 goals and 12 assists while going -18. His underlying numbers suggest it was not quite as bad it looked. Grabner faced the stiffest competition on the team, and was just barely below breaking even in terms of relative corsi. Once again, Grabner didn't get the luxury of starting in the offensive zone much either: only starting there on 42.3% of his shifts. He was able to finish them there 50.2% of the time, however. Couple that with a low PDO this year, and it seems Grabner may have just been the victim of tough shifts and bad luck.
If the Sharks continue to match Thornton/Pavelski against other opposing top lines, and possibly play a shut-down third line against other team's second toughest lines, some easy minutes could open up for Grabner on the second line. He's listed as a RW, but shoots lefty and has lined up on the left side in the past. Who could play with him?
Grabner - Marleau - Havlat
I like it. No, I love it. I love it so much I'd marry it. We'd get married on top of a mountain. idunno723 would be the ring-bearer and... Oh, sorry. I just really want to see that line in teal. Seriosuly, no one would ever call the Sharks a slow team again. If that's the second line, that means you could move up Couture to play on the left side with the Joes. That line's so sexy I'd cheat on the second line. (That's just a joke, I love you 3M line!)
Bottom line, if the Nash deal falls through for San Jose (please fall through), I'd take a long look at Michael Grabner. I don't know if New York would be willing to part with Grabner, but if they'd take Clowe straight-up, I'd do it in a heartbeat. A beat of the heart that belongs to that second line.