The San Jose Sharks are still expected to sign Joe Thornton at some point this offseason according to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic (subscription required). That might not be so for the other franchise icon that sits unsigned deep into August, Patrick Marleau who joined his former teammate for a skate at the San Jose facility this week. Kurz examines the situation for both men, pointing out that Thornton is completely committed to the team regardless of how much cap space they have left at the end of the summer.
Just recently we examined that cap space with a breakdown of the Sharks’ salary situation for the upcoming season. With just under $4.7MM to work with they could certainly bring in both Thornton and Marleau if they want to come “home,” but that wouldn’t leave much for upgrades to the rest of the roster. Most notably is perhaps in net where Aaron Dell remains the backup for the time being despite having just one year at $1.9MM left on his contract and the Sharks trying to trade him in the past. An improvement in net might cost the Sharks some of that room if they can’t find a taker for Dell in return.
- Sticking with The Athletic, resident prospect guru Corey Pronman has started to release (subscription required) his ranking of the 31 farm systems around the league. In last place sits the Calgary Flames, who have had several graduations recently including injured defenseman Juuso Valimaki. In the 2018 draft the Flames didn’t select a single player until the fourth round after trading away several picks, leaving a gap in their system they’ll have to work hard to refill. Pronman has released five other teams and will continue through the summer.
- Those Flames are now in the process of looking to add a defenseman instead of shopping one after Valimaki’s injury. GM Brad Treliving admitted to Eric Francis of Sportsnet that they hadn’t previously been considering an addition on the blueline, but is now after a depth option to help fill in. The rest of the league obviously noticed the situation the Flames are now in, with Treliving saying that his “30 other GM friends certainly have a lot of ideas for [him].”