Call it the thinnest of silver linings, but the numerous injuries of the San Jose Sharks may actually help the team to make something of their season. In a year in which everything has gone wrong in San Jose, including the season-ending injuries of Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl, the team is now in a position to take on considerable salary due to those absences and reap the rewards of doing so, writes NBC Sports’ Marcus White. The once cap-strapped Sharks now have more than $6MM in salary cap space following the trade of defenseman Brenden Dillon and that number could increase if more deals are made. This could allow for San Jose to land a pick or prospect from a contender lacking in cap flexibility who has been weighed down by a bad contract. Of course, the team would likely be looking for expiring contracts so as not to carry the added cap weight into next season, when they hope to be healthy and competitive once again. Still, there are a number of bad contracts out there that the Sharks could take on, making the most of a deadline in which they otherwise don’t have many valuable pieces to trade away.
- Former NHL defenseman Alexey Marchenko is eyeing a return to North America and KHL insider Igor Eronko thinks that he has identified the most likely landing spot. Eronko notes that Marchenko’s teammate with CSKA Moscow is Montreal Canadiens’ top defensive prospect Alexander Romanov and the highest likelihood that Romanov could make the jump next year would be if he is joined by a familiar face. Marchenko, who struggled to carve out an NHL role for himself previously, has improved in the KHL and could be a suitable replacement on the Montreal blue line for impending free agents such as Christian Folin or Xavier Ouellet.
- One of the few bright spots of the Detroit Red Wings’ dismal season has been the continued growth of defenseman Filip Hronek, who has become a dependable all-around defender for the franchise. However, fans can’t even cling to that as a reason to tune in to games for the next few weeks, as the Red Wings have placed Hronek on injured reserve. His injury is not expected to be serious, but the team also lacks any reason to rush him back to action. Long-time depth asset Brian Lashoff has been recalled to take Hronek’s roster spot for the time being.