4:48: The San Jose Sharks have signed defenseman Dylan DeMelo to a one-year, $900K deal to stay with the Sharks after the team did not offer him a qualifying offer two weeks ago, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie. It is a one-way deal.
“Dylan proved last season that he’s ready to be a full time NHL player and really blossomed towards the end of the year and into the playoffs,” said San Jose general manager Doug Wilson. “His skating ability and strong play in both ends make him a valuable part of our blue line. He’s extremely popular with his teammates and we’re excited to have him back with our team.”
The Sharks surprised a few when they opted not to offer a qualifying offer to the 25-year-old blueliner, making him an unrestricted free agent. He showed promise this past year when he played in a career-high 63 games and more than doubled his points total on the season when he tallied 20 assists. He was a regular in the team’s 10 playoff games as well. Regardless, his playing time actually dropped as he averaged just 14:12 of ATOI this season playing on the team’s third defensive pairing. He will likely battle Tim Heed for the final defensive spot in the rotation. However, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz suggests this could be the end for Heed as the team may opt to trade him as he will be an unrestricted free agent in the 2019-20 season.
When San Jose chose not to offer DeMelo a qualifying offer, it was believed the team didn’t want to pay him the $735K that the offer was worth. By not qualifying him and making him an unrestricted free agent, the Sharks could sign him for less, but instead offered him more in the end. With the new contract in place, San Jose has less than $8MM in salary cap space to make more deals. The team still has one remaining restricted free agent in forward Chris Tierney.