NHL Rumor Mill – June 8, 2020
The latest on the Sharks and Wild in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WHICH UFAS WILL THE SHARKS RE-SIGN?
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Kevin Kurz recently examined which San Jose Sharks’ unrestricted free agents could be re-signed and those who have likely played their final games in teal.
He feels it would make sense to bring back Joe Thornton if the long-time Sharks center accepts a $1 million or less salary to provide the club with salary-cap flexibility. He’s leaning toward Thorton’s return but doesn’t consider it a certainty.
Kurz wouldn’t be surprised if the Sharks re-signed Melker Karlsson but could also see him move on to another club. Having traded away a penalty killer in Barclay Goodrow, it might be worthwhile to re-sign Karlsson if he accepts a pay cut.
Backup goalie Aaron Dell won’t be back unless the Sharks can trade starter Martin Jones, but his contract makes him nearly impossible to move. Stefan Noesen will likely get an affordable one- or two-year deal. Unless the Sharks trade Brent Burns, Kurz expects the Sharks will part ways with Tim Heed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve singled out the more notable of the Sharks’ UFAs. I can see Thornton, Karlsson, and Noesen being re-signed if they’re willing to accept cost-effective deals.
Cap Friendly indicates the Sharks have over $66 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. General manager Doug Wilson indicated he believes his club can make a quick turnaround from this season’s disappointing performance. To do so, he’ll need those aforementioned free agents to accept affordable one-year contracts or watch them depart via free agency.
UPDATE ON THE WILD
THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Michael Russo recently reported the league’s proposed roster expansion to 28 skaters and an unlimited number of goaltenders would allow the Minnesota Wild to use Kaapo Kahkonen in the 24-team playoff tournament.
Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock are the Wild’s current goalie tandem. However, coach Dean Evason isn’t ruling out the possibility of the AHL goalie of the year becoming their starter in the tournament if he plays well in training camp. “Whoever is in there that we deem is going to play well for us in whatever position, I’m sure everybody will support him and we will go forward,” said Evason.
Russo suggested it also makes sense for Wild general manager Bill Guerin to play Kahkonen to determine if the 23-year-old netminder is ready to become their No. 1 or No. 2 goalie next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s goaltending situation could get interesting in the off-season if Kahkonen outplays Dubnyk and Stalock in the proposed return-to-play tournament. Dubnyk has one season left on his contract with an annual average value of over $4.33 million and a 19-team trade list. Stalock has two years left at a cheap AAV of $785K. Should Kahkonen prove himself NHL-ready, Guerin could be tempted to use Dubnyk or Stalock as trade bait to address other roster needs.
Russo also reported Marcus Foligno hopes to sign a contract extension with the Minnesota Wild. The 28-year-old forward will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foligno’s become an effective third-line forward for the Wild. He carries a $2.875-million annual average value on his current contract. The Wild have over $39 million invested in just seven players for 2021-22, leaving plenty of space to re-sign Foligno if they choose.
Just my gut feeling…. Jumbo Joe re-ups reasonable 1 year with bonuses…. IF Sharks strong next year and have a shot… he still can have a chance at a Cup… if they falter… Sharks could pull a “Bourque – like” trade (@TDL) to a contender to give Jumbo a shot
Jumbo signing elsewhere as a free agent; IMHO , is a much lower probability still
Retirement for him… possible but me thinks not. If Pens (Marleau [1,723 GP] on team) win cup…. I could envision PM retiring leaving Jumbo Joe (1,636 GP) as the most games played w/o winning a cup…. incentive for another year?
Pens don’t win cup… Marleau only 44 games shy of Gordie Howe’s all-time NHL GP record…. incentive for him (PM) to return… he returns (same age and draft year as Jumbo)… why not Jumbo returning??
I don’t suppose Doug Wilson is going to say “we’ll continue to suck” but if he really believes the Sharks can turn things around then the mushrooms he is eating are non-traditional.
The Sharks had 2-20 goal scorers last year. Almost every player was a double digit minus. Their starter, Martin Jones, has a save % of .896. They were third worst in the league.
The Sharks went from being legitimate Cup contenders in the early part of this decade to being road kill. Signing the players mentioned above is not going to turn the ship around. It sank to the bottom with its current crew.
LJ, I tend to agree with you and wouldn’t bet on the Sharks contending next year. But one year earlier they finished with over 100 pts and got to the conference finals. (with some beneficial calls and late game heroics).
Wilson has to give it another go as before you can rebuild he needs to tear it down, and how do you do that with some of those contracts?
More than anything, they need goaltending.
Pengy, IMO Sharks need to move on from Thornton. He’s having a loooong off season that, at 40 years old will be hard to bounce back. He’s coming off a 31 point season and could be worse next year. I don’t see him having any positive impact on that team. He’s slow. He’s not making anyone around him any better. He needs to retire.
I agree, Slick. Sharks are an old team with several bad contracts. Must get younger and faster. Jumbo Joe has been a great player for them but it’s time to move on. The team to a younger and faster player and Joe to fishing and golfing.
Hertl and Burns would be the Sharks best trade bait. Both have good value at this time, and unless they plan to stick Burns up front, the back end is has too many defensive liabilities for Wilson not to do this move, as he’s not going to be able to trade either Vlassic or Karlsson. They need a replacement for Dell who is capable of being a number one goalie, and they can’t do this without ridding themselves of some bigtime salary. Heed is as good as gone, and they should be trying to get Dillon back.