Could this be Joe Thornton’s final season with the San Jose Sharks? Are the Boston Bruins planning to bolster their defense? Read on for the latest.
Could the Sharks move Thornton later this season?
CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz recently profiled San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, who was among the league’s best players despite his squabbles last summer with GM Doug Wilson, his changing leadership role and the Sharks missing the playoffs last season. Thornton, 36, has a full no-movement clause and has expressed his intent to remain with the Sharks. As Kurz notes, however, his chances of playing for a Stanley Cup contender are fading. If the Sharks are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, Kurz wonders if Thornton might reconsider waiving his movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton was among the NHL assist leaders last season. If he agrees to waive his movement clause, there will be considerable interest in his services around the league, though his $6.75 million cap hit through 2016-17 could be a sticking point. Still, Thornton has shown no prior willingness to be dealt and there’s no certainty he’ll change his mind this season.
Should the Bruins avoid additional free-agent signings?
CBS BOSTON: Matt Kalman notes the offseason rumors linking the Boston Bruins with UFA defensemen like Cody Franson, but considering the club’s limited cap space for 2015-16 (between $4-$5 million), he feels they should avoid making long-term free agent entanglements this year. Kalman believes GM Don Sweeney should take this season to evaluate his roster and, if possible, make upgrades via an in-season trade. In this way, Sweeney could have sufficient cap space to become a player in next summer’s UFA pool, which is expected to be much deeper than this year’s.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kalman makes some good points. I still expect Sweeney could sign a UFA blueliner, but it’ll be for an affordable one-year deal. He’ll then analyze his roster over the coming season to determine its significant needs and the best means of addressing them.