As a result of the big-ticket contracts that the Sharks have handed out in recent years, the Sharks have become a team that isn’t able to afford much in the way of depth. As things stand, they already have more than $52MM locked up in their top-seven players for next year (plus 2021-22) which doesn’t leave a lot of room to round out their roster, especially if the jump in the Upper Limit of the salary cap is minimal. Despite that, GM Doug Wilson told Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News that he doesn’t view that as an impediment towards making improvements:
To win in this league, I think you have to have a bit deeper of a core. I don’t think you can be carried by just one or two players. When you look at the positions those guys play, center, defense or power wingers, it allows you to bring in people around them. I think how we’ve dedicated our dollars is to the proper positions. We’ll have some opportunities to grow this team. But I don’t think I look at it as a big an issue as (an outsider) would.
Overall, San Jose has nearly $63MM in commitments to just a dozen players for next season, per CapFriendly. That will leave the Sharks some wiggle room to replenish their depth but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be shopping at the top of the free agent pool.
More from the Pacific:
- The Flames have been without defenseman Juuso Valimaki all season as he works his way back from knee surgery but GM Brad Treliving told reporters, including Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, that the youngster has resumed skating. There is no timetable for his return and it’s worth noting that if he plays even a single game this season, he’ll accrue a season of service time. That’s notable for expansion implications; if he plays this year, he’ll require protection but if he doesn’t he won’t. But with Calgary in a tough battle for position, they’re also not in a spot where they can afford to hold him out with that in mind either.
- The Coyotes are under investigation by the NHL for allegedly performing fitness testing on CHL draft-eligible players, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger in the latest Insider Trading. Teams are not permitted to test players in advance of the Draft Combine which typically runs in late May/early June. Dreger notes that multiple CHL teams have reported contact by Arizona which has them on the radar of the NHL now. The minimum fine for each violation is $250K.