Waiting for the Leftovers - San Jose Sharks

In a number of articles, I've written about the cap troubles for the San Jose Sharks. Their situation hasn't changed. They have too few players to ice a team for this upcoming season and not enough cap space to add a player without making a trade.

So what does this mean? Well outside of the fact that San Jose is bound to make player moves in the next couple of weeks, they may make a very strong trading partner for the Edmonton Oilers whose main need is to add those one or two players who provide more than what they currently have, but shed a couple of roster contracts. San Jose needs players, Edmonton needs to move players. Makes sense that these two teams should be talking.

The Untouchables

In my opinion, not a single person on the team for San Jose. Some will say Joe Thornton or Dan Boyle, but neither have helped the Sharks do what they need to do come crunch time and playoffs, which is win. They both make fantastically large amounts of money, have value among the league and could be moved. If they aren't it's only because of their no trade clauses. This also applies to Marleau and Nabokov, both of whom would have to approve a trade before it could be made.

The Unwanted

It seems Cheechoo no longer fits into the Sharks plans. They have players that have jumped him in the depth charts over the last couple of seasons and he's been relegated to 3rd and 4th line ice time, which is the major factor for his drop in numbers. He's missed a couple games due to injury, which allowed for players like Pavelski, Clowe and Michalek to fill his place.

Patrick Marleau has come up in a bunch in rumors, but the Sharks have also said publicly their stance on not moving him. No word on whether they've officially asked Marleau to lift his no trade clause, but it hasn't stopped the Marleau to Montreal or Ottawa rumors.

Rob Blake they want, but I don't know why. At least not at $3.5 million. Blake is a veteran on his way out of the game and that was a hefty number that has really hand tied the Sharks and their ability to make further improvement. It also struck me as odd because of the depth for San Jose on defense. Blake just didn't make sense for that kind of money. San Jose has 7 defensmen all making over $1.5 million each.

The Interesting

Ryane Clowe. As a RFA, he signed a very large contract when the Sharks were rumored to be in on Dany Heatley. Despite how unlikely the Heatley trade is, and we've been through that over and over on this site, Clowe not signing could have changed all that. At first I figured maybe it was a sign and trade situation, but that must not be the case, because if San Jose had desire to move Clowe, he'd be gone already. I see Clowe as a strong corner piece for the Sharks in the coming years and have no doubt he'll live up to the size of his contract.

Milan Michalek is a top line LW and if by some miracle a trade for Heatley does happen, is who I see going to Ottawa. A 20 goals and 55+ point player for the last three seasons, he'd be a welcome fit with the Senators or the Oilers if San Jose is willing to move him to clear space. The only issue is that the Sharks either need to move Clowe to 1st line LW or replace Michalek with whomever he's traded for. The only offer the Oilers have is Penner and the salaries are almost a wash so it's not likely.

The Being Moved?

Someone on defense. The Sharks have too much money tied up in defensemen and too many of them, when they badly need more forwards. Expect some like Vlasic, Erhoff or Douglas Murray to go seeing as how they each make over $2.5 million. That's enough money if they are moved for prospects or picks to sign the forwards they need to at least fill the roster.

Areas of Interest for the Oilers?

I'd look at either Clowe or Cheechoo. An earlier article I wrote explains how I think the Cheechoo trade helps Edmonton. http://oilersinsider.blogspot.com/2009/08/edmonton-oiler-trade-proposal.html


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