While it’s still a couple of months before the trade deadline, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz suggests in a reader mailbag that San Jose’s roster isn’t likely to change much between now and the end of February.
Like quite a few teams this season, the Sharks find themselves quite tight to the salary cap. Tomas Hertl is currently on LTIR which frees up a bit of extra space in the short-term but any payroll they add between now and his return would have to be freed back up before they could activate him off of injured reserve, which should be sometime late next month.
Further complicating things potentially is the strong play of recent call-ups Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc. Both have played well enough to lock down a spot full-time which could force the Sharks to make some tough decisions once Hertl is ready to return, assuming no one else gets hurt between now and then.
One area that Kurz thinks they could try to make a move in is between the pipes to get another backup goalie to take Aaron Dell’s spot. The rookie has started only four of 35 games this season which has forced Martin Jones to play more than the Sharks probably would like. Of course, their limited cap space would limit their options but there typically are a couple of cheap, veteran backups that are made available close to the deadline.
More from the Pacific Division:
- Despite making him a healthy scratch more than he has played this month, the Oilers plan to keep rookie Jesse Puljujarvi up with the big club instead of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, notes Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun. Head coach Todd McLellan anticipates that the rookie, who has played in in just five of the last 13 games, will see more ice time with the season-ending injury to Tyler Pitlick. Puljujarvi’s rookie campaign hasn’t gone as anticipated as he has just one goal and seven assists in 25 games.
- In an effort to jump-start their two top veterans, the Ducks have split up long-time linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, writes Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register. While the two have combined for 56 points this year, only 11 of those have been goals which isn’t enough from one of the highest priced forward duos in the league with a combined cap hit just shy of $17MM.