Photo credit:© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Meet the Sellers: San Jose Sharks
24 days ago
This is a new series called Meet the Sellers. As the Edmonton Oilers are in a “Stanley Cup or Bust” year, we’re going to look at the teams who have no other aspirations this season other than adding some prospects and picks and jockeying for a better position in the 2024 Draft Lottery.
Before diving into our first team on the list, the San Jose Sharks, and what they have to offer, let’s look at a few needs for the Oilers…
- Competent backup goaltender: Stuart Skinner had a rough start to the season, but he’s been great since the Oilers turned it around. Still, the Oilers need to alleviate some starts and get a 1B.
- Second-pairing right-shot defenceman: Cody Ceci isn’t terrible, but if they upgrade defence, he’s the logical subtraction from the team. Getting Darnell Nurse his own Mattias Ekholm would strengthen the Oilers’ defence core significantly.
- Second-line right-winger: Warren Foegele has shown to have chemistry with Leon Draisaitl, but adding a second-line right-winger with an insane shot would solidify the Oiler’s Top 6. The Oilers are apparently signing Corey Perry, but he’s a bottom-six player.
- Third-line centre: This is only if the Oilers decide to use Ryan McLeod as a winger on Draisaitl’s line. It doesn’t look likely, but we’ll still look at third-line centres from each team.
Who could the San Jose Sharks sell?
The Sharks moved Timo Meier ahead of last year’s deadline and then dealt Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson in the summer and, predictably, they’re worse this season than last. San Jose has a 14-32-4 record and their hope is that they get the first-overall pick in this summer’s draft.
The team has seven players who will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, but we’ll only make note of the important players who might make the Oilers better. It’s also worth mentioning that the Sharks just have one retention spot remaining, meaning that matching salaries could get complicated if they retain another contract.
Mike Hoffman is the most notable name among San Jose’s pending UFAs, and he has eight goals and 16 points in 16 games. In the past three seasons, the centre/left wing has finished with an average of 35 points but hasn’t hit the 20-goal mark since 2019-20. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and has a cap hit of $4.5 million.
Anthony Duclair is probably the best fit for Edmonton when it comes to a forward on the Sharks, albeit, he’s also a left-wing. Like Hoffman, he has just eight goals and 16 points in 41 games. However, the 28-year-old is just two seasons removed from a 31-goal, 58-point season with the Panthers. On top of that, he played 20 games in the playoffs in 2023 and had four goals and 11 points. He has a cap hit of $3 million and will be an unrestricted free agent.
Kevin Labanc fits more as a middle-six forward. This season, he has just two goals and seven points in 32 games, but had 15 goals and 33 points in 72 games last season. The right-winger’s career year was in 2018-19, the last time the Sharks made the playoffs, and he had 17 goals and 56 points that season. Like Duclair and Hoffman, Labanc will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and has a cap hit of $4,725,000.
Alexander Barabanov plays on both wings and has three goals and eight points in 26 games this season. He’s just one season removed from scoring a career-high 15 goals and 47 points in 68 games with the Sharks last season, so there’s some talent there. Barabonov is, you guessed it, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and carries a cap hit of $2.5 million, the cheapest contract we’ll look at.
Mikael Granlund was the only other player next to Tomáš Hertl, who was producing for the lowly Sharks, as he had five goals and 29 points in 38 games. Furthermore, Granlund is a talented player, having three 60-point seasons in his career. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury and is week-to-week, so he may not be available to trade come the March 8 deadline. Granlund carries a cap hit of $5 million until the end of the 2024-25 season.
Marc-Édouard Vlasic likely won’t be moved at this stage, but his name is interesting to think about regardless. The left-shot veteran is the longest-serving Shark and has two goals and three points in 24 games. His goal and 18 points last season was the most since the 2018-19 season, which was closer to what he produced in his prime. Vlasic plays both the left and right side of defence but carries a cap hit of $7 million until the end of the 2025-26 season.
Kaapo Kähkönen owns a save percentage of .901 and MacKenzie Blackwood has a save percentage of .899. Neither seems impressive at a glance, but it’s important to remember the team that’s playing in front of them. San Jose’s goalies have $2,750,000 and $2,350,000 cap hits and are UFAs in 2024 and 2025. Given the way Cal Pickard has played for Edmonton, neither is enough of an upgrade to warrant moving assets.
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