The San Jose Sharks are bringing back a familiar face, claiming Micheal Haley off waivers from the Florida Panthers. Haley will be returning to the team he played 78 games for between 2014-17, and one that is loading up for another long playoff run.
It’s been a tough year for Haley on and off the ice, culminating in his removal from the Panthers roster in early October to take part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The Panthers stuck with him throughout, and have put him back in the NHL lineup for 24 games this season. Those contests have resulted in just three points, but Haley was never known for his contributions on offense. Instead, he’s regarded as one of the last enforcers in the league and an extremely tough player to share the ice with.
While there’s no reason to believe Haley will see increased minutes in San Jose with a better Sharks team, this move does smack of an answer to the Nashville Predators acquisition of Cody McLeod earlier this month. The two teams expect to contend for the Stanley Cup this season and will want all the toughness and grit they can get down the stretch. Haley costs the team very little, given his $825K full-season cap hit.